O.C.O Technology double production capacity in Leeds
Carbon capture specialist expands production and creates new jobs in £3 million investment
A £3 million investment has enabled carbon capture specialists O.C.O Technology to expand their production facilities in Leeds, delivering a 50% increase in the amount of carbon-negative aggregates it can now produce. The move has also created seven new jobs at the Knowsthorpe Gate facility at Cross Green.
Adding the third production line means the facility now has the capacity to treat up to 90,000 tonnes of thermal residues every year, producing around 225,000 tonnes of carbon-negative aggregate, called Manufactured LimeStone (M-LS).
O.C.O managing director Steve Greig said: ‘We’re thrilled to have successfully commissioned our third aggregate production line at our Leeds operation.
‘This is an important milestone in expanding our capacity and underlines our commitment to both the region and the wider UK economy. It’s about creating new jobs and using our innovative technology to accelerate the use of more sustainable building materials in the future.’
M-LS is increasingly sought after by block manufacturers and others who see its green credentials as a step forward towards cutting carbon within the construction sector.
Air pollution control residues (APCr) are already arriving at the site from the new Hooton Bio Power EfW facility at Ellesmere Port, in Cheshire, and O.C.O have recently signed deals with Covanta Europe to take some 30,000 tonnes of APCr from two new energy-recovery facilities (ERFs) being built in Leicestershire and Cheshire. Further residues will come from Indaver’s operation in Aberdeen.
Steve Greig added: ‘These new contracts underline O.C.O’s position as a leading recycler of thermal residues in the UK and the only business actively investing and substantially growing its capacity in this sector.’
As part of the project, O.C.O obtained a variation to the site’s Environmental Permit from the Environment Agency (EA), authorizing the storage of larger volumes of materials, as well as the additional processing capacity.
The facility remains fully compliant with the EA-regulated ‘best available techniques’ for waste processing, with many state-of-the-art components and process philosophies adopted to ensure the safe handling of the residues.
The six-month build programme for the new facility saw O.C.O partner with Yorkshire-based Don Valley Engineering (DVE), who have also now won the contract to develop O.C.O’s new production facility at Wretham, in Norfolk. This is expected to be operational by late 2023.
Dan Hobson, sales manager at DVE, said: ‘Securing the contract for the Leeds expansion was an excellent opportunity for Don Valley Engineering and the increased design resources required allowed for the expansion of our team through the appointment of some high-calibre engineers, strengthening our capabilities for the future. We are further delighted to have been selected as the supplier of choice for the process modules at the Wretham plant.’
In addition to the Leeds operation, O.C.O also have facilities in Avonmouth and Suffolk and are now ranked within the top 10 companies in the world for permanent carbon capture in a commercialized process.
Overall, in the 12-month period to the end September 2021, the company manufactured more than 350,000 tonnes of M-LS – enough to build 19,000 houses. This meant diverting more than 143,000 tonnes of thermal residue waste from landfill and the capture of nearly 13,000 tonnes of CO2.