Planned Welsh plastics plant given Covid-19 loan

Waste management company Orthios has secured a UK government-backed loan to help it develop a 200,000 tonnes per year capacity plastics recycling facility in Holyhead, Anglesey.

Close Brothers Asset Finance has provided Orthios with £1.2 million via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The waste management company says the loan will allow it to create 52 full-time jobs and purchase plastics processing equipment.

Orthios CEO Sean McCormick said: “Establishing our new plastics recycling centre is a key part of our overall plan to treat waste as a valuable resource with a huge part to play in tackling climate change and building a sustainable, prosperous, carbon-neutral economy.

“Via the centre, Orthios will tease out first those plastics which can be readily repurposed and send the remainder to our plastics to oil facility to extract fuel and other ingredients valuable to industry, including ours.”

Orthios says it has applied for a second CBLS loan for equipment to process biomass from the site’s recycling centre into biogas. A decision on the new application is expected by spring 2021 and, if approved, will create 18 more jobs.

Orthios began developing a 230-acre former aluminium works in Anglesey in 2015. A materials recycling facility is being developed at the site, alongside a biorefinery and plastic to oil and energy from waste (EfW) infrastructure.

The large-scale core businesses create large volumes of biproducts which are then used to catalyse other supplementary businesses, Orthios says.

The waste management company says plastics to oil production at the site is due to start “soon”.

Financial support
The CBILS provides financial support to smaller businesses across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chris Prior, Area Sales Manager for Close Brothers Asset Finance’s specialist waste and recycling team, said: “This is a genuinely exciting project to be involved in because it started with a vision to turn a former aluminium smelting site into one that accommodates a range of modern, sustainable, environmental businesses that function together in a circular economy.

“We’re delighted and proud to play our part in Orthios’s journey, which has seen the creation of multiple new, highly-skilled roles in an area that really needs them at a time of significant uncertainty for many.”

Orthios’s application for CIBLS funding was supported by Virginia Crosbie, Conservative MP for Ynys Môn. She said: “I am delighted to hear the news that Orthios will be receiving CIBLS funding and that it will be put to such good use.

“This project will not only contribute to the UK government’s net-zero carbon targets but, by bringing new jobs to Anglesey, it also supports its levelling up agenda. I am looking forward to visiting the new plant when it goes live.”