MORE than 1,000 jobs will be created by building a ground-breaking centre that will see landfill rubbish turned into aircraft fuel.
British Airways and Solena Fuels are building a waste-to-jet fuel plant - the first of its kind - on the Thames Enterprise Park near Stanford-le-Hope.
The two companies first teamed up in 2012 with bold plans to turn rubbish into jet fuel. Now they have announced that the Enterprise Park will be home to the world’s first facility.
Dubbed GreenSky, it is thought this groundbreaking fuel project could revolutionise the way aircraft are fuelled.
John Kent, the leader of Thurrock Council said: “Today's announcement that British Airways and Solena Fuels will be creating a world’s first unique facility at Coryton is great news.
“Two years ago, the government failed to step in and save an important part of the nation’s infrastructure – the Petroplus oil refinery.
“A year ago that same government failed to help another important component of our industry, Tilbury power station, which ironically was using re-useable energy fuel.
"We have continued to work hard to attract new investment to our borough.”
The 400-acre park, which is being developed on the former Coryton oil refinery site is set to be home to fuel and technology firms and eventually bring 2000 permanent jobs to the area.
It is due to be built next to thee Thames Oilport storage facility, which is going on the other half of the Coryton site.
British Airways and Solena have chosen the park for the project due to its transport links and existing fuel storage facilities. One thousand construction workers will be hired to build the plant, which is due to be completed in 2017, creating up to 150 permanent roles.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, said: “We are always striving to reduce our impact on climate change and this first-of-its-kind project marks a significant step for the aviation industry.
“The sustainable jet fuel produced each year will be enough to power our flights from London City Airport twice over with carbon savings the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.”
Andrew Owens, chief executive of Greenergy - one of the three firms behind the Thames Oilport, responsible for developing the Enterprise Park, said: “This is exactly the type of high profile technology project both we and Thurrock Council want to attract to the site, particularly given the number of skilled jobs provided.”
An aerial view of the Coryton oil refinery, taken in 2012. The eastern tip, to the right of the ship with the green deck, will be home to Thames Oilport. British Airways and Solena are yet to decide exactly where the centre will be located - but the rest of the refinery site is being given over for the Enterprise Park.
A planning application for the centre will be lodged with Thurrock Council in the coming weeks.
Mr Kent added: "Over a thousand construction jobs and 150 permanent ones on the cutting edge of technology - Thurrock is, clearly, the place to be.
“Thames Enterprise Park is a key part of Thurrock’s growth plan. The arts to the west with High House Production Park, the Royal Opera House. The Backstage Centre and the planned film and television studios; commerce at Lakeside; education at the new Grays campus; regenerated port-related industries at Tilbury and DP World; and now this no one can say Thurrock doesn't have a bright future."