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WKE update June 2023

12th June, 2023

WKE has commissioned both lines one and two with line three due to start commissioning at the end of June, with a view to complete at the end of August.

Our CEO Ian Jones commented: “It’s been a complex process with significant adaptations needed but we’re very pleased that lines one and two are now producing the volumes we need them to.

“We’ve got nine pelletisers which need to run at three tonnes per hour for 80% capacity. Initially that wasn’t the case, but having made some changes we’ve demonstrated that the pelletisers can now run up to three tonnes/hour at 90% capacity.

“We’ve learned a significant amount and we’re very confident the equipment will produce the volumes required. Which is just as well, as we’ve had significant interest from potential offtakers who have visited our site in Middlesbrough. They now understand the process and the difference in taking loose SRF versus our SIRF pellets which has made them confident that ours is a much more process friendly product – easier to use and store as well as cleaner and more stable.

“So, from a commissioning perspective we’ve made some great progress. From a commercial aspect the interest we’ve got in our product means that for 2024 we could secure our entire volume for the year, profitability.

“Long term, WKE is looking at how we secure our own green energy supply. The ever-increasing energy cost has been an issue for us, but we’ve got some exciting news which we’ll be sharing soon regarding a private green heat and power supply. This will enable us to control our energy costs which will help minimise price fluctuations and reduce our own carbon emissions. It will come from an energy from waste plant and we’re hoping to announce this within the next few months.

“Whilst we had put future site expansion on hold while we focused on plant one, we are now proactively engaged in looking for a second site which could potentially be in Western Europe, close to where we’re seeing the most interest in our product.

“We’d rather not be exporting our product to other countries; the UK shouldn’t be exporting any waste or end of waste products overseas. We need to deal with our own waste locally. As the EfW industry reaches critical mass, and as we get better at recycling our waste, there is still residue we can use as fuel and therefore we shouldn’t be sending waste to landfill.

“The EA and DEFRA needs our support, they are going through a difficult time and struggling to recruit – the waste industry needs to support them. The EA needs more funding and a proper framework to help the waste industry in the UK, so we get the regulatory framework and policies in place to enable us all to succeed.”

Ian recently spoke to Luke Walsh at ENDS Waste and Bioenergy. Read the full interview here.