A CHESHIRE resource recovery and recycling business has become the UK’s first negative emissions project to progress to the next stage.

Viridor is a leading resource recovery and recycling business that has 11 locations across the UK – including one in Runcorn.

The company has been working on a negative emissions project at its Runcorn energy recovery facility, which generates electricity from waste which cannot be easily recycled or reused.

Now, Viridor will now progress the project to the next stage after agreeing a statement of principles with the UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

The company will deliver a world-leading carbon capture and storage (CCS) project and, with the help of the Government, invest more than half a billion pounds to capture carbon at the Runcorn facility.

“Today's announcement is a great next step in our ambitious plans to transform our business,” said Tim Rotheray, chief sustainability officer at Viridor.

“It will build on our sector leading commitment to be climate positive by unlocking negative emissions from this essential waste management process.

“This project is a testament to what the Government and private sector can achieve by working in partnership.”

The project is set to capture more than 900,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, offsetting the carbon footprint of the treatment of more than a million tonnes of waste per year.

In excess of 500 green industrial jobs in the UK will be generated by the CCS project in Runcorn through the design and construction phases.

A further 135 full-time jobs will then be generated across operation and maintenance of the plant and its supply chain.