Hydrodec Group plc, which has proposed to build a used oil re-refinery at Eastham Locks, in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, Merseyside, U.K., is facing opposition from local residents.
Hydrodec recently postponed a public meeting to allow all parties “more time to gather their thoughts and prepare.” The postponement was announced after more than 1,400 people signed an online petition called “Eastham says no to the Hydrodec oil refinery.”
The company, which was founded in Australia in 2001 and is listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange, intends to set up its European headquarters at the site if the plant gets the green light from the government.
Local news reported that the project has to be approved by the Secretary of State due to its “national importance.”
The firm’s head of re-refining, Iain Lees, told residents in a letter that “In view of the proposed nature and scale of the proposal, we are advised that it will constitute a nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP). As such, given its national importance, it will be necessary for the application to be determined by the Secretary of State.”
Large-scale developments require a type of consent known as “development consent,” which means that the application will go to the Planning Inspectorate, and will involve a consultation process involving the community, the Wirral council and other statutory consultees. A recommendation will then be put forward to the Secretary of State, who will make the ultimate decision whether to grant planning consent.
Should the project get the green light, it will re-introduce the production of base oil to the Wirral and will create up to 40 local jobs.
Hydrodec said the Eastham location is ideal because of the existing talent pool due to the surrounding refining and petrochemical industry (Eastham Refinery and Essar Stanlow), the location of the adjacent QE2 Dock, which allows sea transportation, easy access to the motorway and the proximity of a storage facility, the NuStar Eastham.