Argent wants to expand factory

Argent Energy's plant in Biggar Road was opened 12 years ago and is in need of improvements
Argent Energy's plant in Biggar Road was opened 12 years ago and is in need of improvements

Argent Energy has applied for planning permission to build a four-storey extension onto its factory in Newarthill.

The Biggar Road firm manufactures biodiesel from waste fats and oils, as part of this process several side streams are created which contain the likes of glycerine, potassium sulphate salt and methanol.

The extension will be used to house two additional side stream distillation columns.

A supporting statement from Argent Energy to North Lanarkshire Council said: “During the summer months, the volume of side streams generated increases. “At certain points, there is insufficient capacity in the side product distillation columns to process these streams and solutions are stored in several tanks within the facility until volume drops in the cooler weather and they can be efficiently processed.

“This is exacerbated by the need to clean plant equipment more frequently during the warmer months, thereby further reducing available side stream capacity.

“Rather than replace the existing columns, which are still viable for the operation, the new columns will allow the company to have a set of columns operational and a set on standby.

“The new columns will have improved processing efficiency that will cope with the increase in volume of side products produced during the warmer months.”

Argent Energy does not believe the extension will impact its neighbours, but claims it is needed in order to ensure the long-term future of the business.

It stated: “There will be no increase in traffic to the site as a result of this extension.

“As there is no change to the scope or scale of the operation there will be no change to noise fumes and smell.

“The plant is now 12 years old and it is vital that improvements are made to the process to ensure future viability of the facility.”