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East Midlands Chamber News

DNCC Award Winner Energised By Trade Minister Visit

Lord Green Visits Chinook Sciences in NottinghamLord Green, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, visited DNCC member Chinook Sciences last week to see its world-leading clean technology in action.

He heard how the company's success is leading to significant exports, inward investment and local job creation.

The company - which won the Excellence in Innovation award at DNCC's Nottinghamshire's BEST Business Awards on Friday - has developed the world's leading advanced thermal treatment technology for metal recycling and renewable energy generation.

Chinook’s unique end-stage recycling technology typically recovers 4kg of valuable metal from every tonne of residual waste which would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated. It also generates more than a megawatt of clean, green electricity in the process by converting the waste into a synthetic gas similar to natural gas.

This synthetic gas is cleaned to produce renewable electricity by fuelling high-performance gas engines and steam turbines.

Chinook’s world-leading clean technology has been deployed in 16 installations worldwide to date and has been in commercial operation for more than 13 years.

Lord Green was introduced to Dr Rifat Chalabi and Harry Perry, two of the founders of the company, who have been responsible for much of the groundbreaking research and development which has been the foundation of Chinook’s growth and success, including its 98 patents already granted.

The Minister was given a tour of Chinook’s control centre, which is able to remotely monitor and manage plants that are operating on both sides of the Atlantic.

He was then given a briefing by senior management on Chinook’s current projects under construction, including Oldbury in the West Midlands, where the world’s largest industrial waste gasification plant is approaching completion.

The facility, which is being developed with EMR, the leading global metal recycling company, will process 180,000 tonnes of industrial waste every year, recovering 10,000 tonnes of clean metal and generating 40 megawatts of electricity.

Other UK sites with planning permission include Carnbroe, in Scotland, Dagenham in East London, and the Bulwell Energy Park, Nottingham.

Lord Green said: “It was fascinating to visit a Nottinghamshire and British success story here at Chinook. It’s a great example of a world-leader in clean technology.

“Chinook provides innovative solutions to treating society’s waste, stopping valuable metals going to landfill and making a significant contribution to the UK’s renewable energy needs, at the same time as creating jobs here in Nottingham and boosting export sales, which is of course key to growth.

“The team at UK Trade & Investment will continue to support Chinook and I am delighted that we are playing our part in helping the firm to continue in its success.”

Kevin Riley, Managing Director of the prestigious River Crescent development in Nottingham, revealed plans for the world’s first “Community Access Recycling” plant, a state-of-the-art facility to process waste material and generate renewable heat and power, which his company is planning to install in 2014.

He said: “We are excited about installing a Chinook plant at River Crescent. It will further enhance the sustainable credentials of the development and help ensure we are fully carbon neutral and energy self-sufficient using Chinook’s commercially proven technology”

The Chinook team also presented their wider growth plans for the business, highlighting the considerable opportunities for Chinook’s UK supplier base which includes more than 240 British companies who supply over 90 per cent of the content of the Chinook technology.

Of the Company’s future growth Dr Rifat Chalabi, Chinook’s Chairman and Chief Executive commented: “It’s very gratifying to see the fruition of our hard work and investment. Since the company was founded in 1999 we have continuously reinvested our profits in research and development, over £15m in the past three years alone, enabling us to develop end stage recycling as the best performing, most cost-effective, cleanest and safest technology for recovering metal and generating energy from waste.

"We’ve deliberately kept a low profile until now but with these major projects, future partners and investors are now beating a path to our door. We are keen to work closely with the local and national government to take advantage of the opportunity we have created.”