PLANS for a multi-million pound renewable energy plant, which could create up to 700 jobs during construction, were announced for Teesside today.
Air Products is hoping to build the new 49MW facility at the Reclamation Pond site (adjacent to the North Tees Chemical Complex) near Billingham.
It would be capable of generating renewable electricity for up to 50,000 homes in the North-east.
As well as 500-700 jobs needed during a three-year construction period, the site would create up to 50 permanent jobs.
The renewable energy plant, which requires planning consent from Stockton Council and an environmental permitting consent from the Environment Agency, would convert pre-processed waste into renewable power.
By diverting waste from landfill the proposed plant will offer an environmentally-friendly solution for the production of renewable energy. The plant also has the potential to generate renewable hydrogen.
Ian Williamson, European hydrogen and bio energy director at Air Products, said: “Consultation with local stakeholders and residents about our plans is an important part of the project’s development process and we will be hosting drop-in sessions for local people over the coming months to explain the need for the project, the environmental merits of using the latest technologies and also the economic benefits to Teesside.”
Speaking on the benefits of the plant he added: “The UK continues to dispose of large volumes of waste to landfill, some of which could be converted to energy using technology such as advanced gasification.
“The technology that Air Products is proposing to bring to Teesside provides an alternative solution to the disposal or incineration of waste, with over 90% of the waste arriving to the site being diverted from landfill and used as a renewable energy resource.”
The Billingham site, owned by Teesside-based Impetus Reclamation, has been renamed the New Energy and Technology Business Park (NETBP) and will focus on energy efficient production facilities and the conversion of waste to energy, waste to fuels and other related products.
An initial scoping document, which details the project and the measures that will be taken to consider its environmental impact, has been issued today to Stockton Council.
A full environmental assessment and programme of public and regulatory consultation, with stakeholders such as the Environment Agency and Natural England, will take place over the coming months. If successful, it is anticipated that formal planning and environmental permit regulation applications will be submitted later this year.
While the overall investment figure has not been revealed, the proposals have received support from regional development agency One North East, which has invested £250,000 from the Tees Valley Industrial Programme (TVIP) - £60m of support drawn up for the process industry but announced in December, just days after Corus’s decision to mothball its Teesside Cast Products plant. One North East is also investing £2.2m in a major land reclamation project at NETBP. One North East chief executive Alan Clarke said: “We are delighted with this signal of intent from Air Products.”