A company which specialises in animal by-products and renewable energy has expanded its international reach with a multimillion-pound storage terminal at the Port of Sunderland.
Leo Group, which owns Omega Protein in Penrith, has invested in the site which will hold the oil recycled from its protein plants across the UK.
It will also allow it to load some of the largest tankers in operation today.
The oil is shipped to energy companies and is used to generate renewable energy, as well as being processed into green SAF and HVO fuel.
Leo Group chose the Port of Sunderland for its strategic location on the east coast and access to major transport routes.
Danny Sawrij, chief executive of The Leo Group, said: "We are delighted that our terminal in Sunderland is now operational. It will serve as our main distribution centre for oil and secure our future exports to the EU and other markets around the world, which we expect to increase over time.
"As one of the UK's leading animal by-products and renewable energy specialists, it is great that we are able to recycle 100 per cent of all animal by-products at our sites and help reduce CO2 emissions with our products. A decade ago, you would have buried a dead sheep in the ground with the risk of contamination. Now we can convert the sheep into sustainable aviation fuel and electricity. That's how far we've come."
Matthew Hunt, director at Port of Sunderland, added: "Leo Group is the latest in a number of pioneering circular economy businesses to have announced a major investment at the Port of Sunderland and we're absolutely delighted that its state-of-the-art export facility here in our Port is now ready to start shipping operations to overseas markets.
"The need for countries the world-over to transition to Net Zero societies has led to soaring demand for clean biofuels such as those produced by Leo Group and we are delighted that the port will play a key role in the growth of the business as it continues to expand its global presence."
Nick Atkinson, Director at HTA Real Estate acted on behalf of the Port and commented “This is a great facility for the Port to have and we hope will generate further opportunities in the future”.