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Ecokarb® - An Exciting Investment in Net Zero Manufacturing from Tata Chemicals Europe

Hot on the heels of the construction of the UK’s largest Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) plant that will capture 40,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, we are delighted to announce that we will soon be starting the planning process for permission to build a brand-new plant that will produce Ecokarb®, a net zero carbon emission product for use in the pharmaceutical industry and other premium applications that will be exported across the world.
This is great news for our local community and Northwich, as it cements Winnington as the home of world-leading innovation and sustainable manufacturing, supporting existing jobs, and creating new roles too.
Playing our part in helping the UK achieve net zero carbon emissions, our CCU and Ecokarb plants fit with the Government’s recently announced Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. The construction of our Carbon Capture plant is supported the UK Government with a grant providing 25% of the total investment of £17m. Read more about our CCU plant here.
On this page, you can find the following information about this exciting project:

Creating jobs that are highly specialised and well paid, producing a product that results in millions of pounds of exports and helping the UK towards the goal of net zero emissions, this is a pioneering project, demonstrating to industry in the UK and across the world how it is possible to create valuable resources from waste emissions.

With £50m required to build the facilities to make Ecokarb®, this will be the single largest investment at the site in over 50 years, supporting the existing jobs and cementing Northwich and Tata Chemicals Europe as the home of world leading innovation and sustainable manufacturing.
Managing Director, Martin Ashcroft said:
“This is a really exciting moment in the 150-year history of manufacturing in Northwich. The proposed Ecokarb® plant will produce a critically important product which will be exported to over 60 countries in the world and will be made with net zero carbon emissions. This plant represents the largest investment at the Winnington site in over 50 years and will be a source of high quality, high value adding jobs at the same time as sustaining our existing jobs as we make our contribution to the UK’s net zero target. In 2014 we started a journey of transforming our proud heritage into a business that will continue for many years and this £50m investment is just the latest stage of our long-term plans, securing the future of high-quality manufacturing in Northwich.”

  • Ecokarb® is a process pioneered here in Northwich. 
  • It uses captured carbon dioxide emissions as a raw material.
  • This material is then used to manufacture high quality sodium bicarbonate.
  • The high purity sodium bicarbonate is used in the pharmaceutical industry and other premium applications.
  • Ecokarb® is the world’s first sodium bicarbonate to be made with net zero carbon emissions.
  • Used in many vital applications, Ecokarb® will be exported to over 60 countries, helping treat millions of people across the world. 


We will be submitting a planning application in the near future to Cheshire West and Chester Council. In this planning application there will be much more detail about the project available, including a detailed environmental impact assessment that will address areas such as noise, emissions, traffic, heritage and much more. During the planning process, there will be an opportunity for residents, companies and other organisations to comment on the application.
We have recently hand delivered leaflets to people in the Winnington area who might be impacted by this project because we value the feedback of our local community.
Because of the pandemic, we are asking for comments from local residents who received the leaflet to this email address tceecokarb@tatachemicals.com or by post to Ecokarb® Project Team, Natrium House, Winnington Lane, Northwich, CW8 4GW. 
The opportunity for others to comment on our plans will come as part of the planning process managed with Cheshire West and Chester Council.

New plant location is proposed to be on site of the old 33m high Calcium Chloride facility (shown in the picture above), close to our offices at the junction of Winnington Lane and Winnington Avenue opposite the Weaver Vale Garden Centre. Until demolition over the past 12 months, the old plant had not been used since 2014 when much of the manufacturing on the site was decommissioned. 

The new Ecokarb® plant is planned to be located here as it is near the carbon capture plant and our combined heat and power plant, both of which provide key ingredients for Ecokarb® production.The pictures above show how the building that will house the new plant could look.
By using this location, it also means that we can keep supplying our high purity sodium bicarbonate, a vital medical ingredient, until the new plant is ready from our smaller existing facility near the River Weaver opposite the Anderton Boat Lift.
Once the new plant is ready to supply, we can then remove the old plant and consider the area for potential regeneration in line with the Local Plan (Part Two) Land Allocations and Detailed Policies.

Six years ago, we started a transformation process to move our business to a sustainable long-term footing. Growing our business by making more high quality, specialist products is a fundamental part of this strategy.
This new plant, if built, will not only double the size of our sodium bicarbonate business, but it will also create a major customer for our sodium carbonate product made at Lostock, our Carbon Dioxide produced at the CCU plant and our low carbon heat & electricity produced at our CHP plant. Supporting all our employees and operations in Northwich for the long term.

The Winnington site has been used to manufacture of salt-based products for well over a century; in fact, sodium carbonate was first made here in 1873. Throughout this time there have been many changes to the site.
Recent years have seen many changes with the new carbon capture plant taking shape and the old redundant buildings being demolished.
For over 140 years, the site has produced raw materials that are used to make items essential to everyday life; from glass to washing detergents, pharmaceuticals to food and animal feed to water purification. Millions of people use something made with our raw materials every day.