North Tyneside based pharmaceutical manufacturing company, Sterling Pharma Solutions, has begun construction on a cutting-edge bioplant enhancement at its Cramlington site to boost the sustainability of its operations and contribute to the UK’s green gas initiative for action against climate change.

The first of its kind in the UK, the anaerobic plant will use micro-organisms to form biogas from liquid waste produced during its manufacturing operations. Traditionally, anaerobic plants only treat solid waste feedstock with high organic content, which makes this process unique in the country.

This biogas, produced from liquid waste which would otherwise be disposed of, will then be purified to produce biomethane that will be injected back in the national gas grid. The new plant will cut carbon emissions substantially and provide green gas sufficient for hundreds of homes across Northumberland.

As a result, the enhanced bioplant, which is being developed in partnership with Synergie Environ Ltd (SEL), will minimise waste from the Sterling facility and offset greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 6,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

Brian Peutherer, HSE Director at Sterling, said: “Sterling aspires towards a carbon-neutral operation.  Our recent carbon footprint assessment shows that this is within our grasp, and our bioplant investment is a major step along this journey. We will be supplying low-carbon energy to the local distribution grid, which will ultimately benefit the environment and the community. This project is one of many that will enhance sustainability on our site and lead to a cleaner, greener Northumberland.”

In addition, by processing more waste on site, the bioplant will reduce vehicle movements from the facility by the equivalent of 90 HGVs per year, taking vehicles off the road and saving a further 55 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Uisdean Fraser, Managing Director at SEL, added: “This is a real first for the UK and we’re delighted to be able to support Sterling as it plays its part in reducing the environmental footprint of pharmaceutical manufacturing, and the country as a whole.”

Work on the new facility, which will dovetail into Sterling’s existing on-site bioplant, commenced in December 2020 and will be fully commissioned by March 2022.

For more information about Sterling Pharma Solutions, please visit

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