THE boss behind plans for carbon capture and storage on Teesside says the technology will be instrumental in safeguarding the area’s industrial future.
Chancellor Alistair Darling handed Teesside its second major boost this week in its bid to secure £1.5bn for the Eston Grange Power Project.
The Government “doubled its commitment” to bringing carbon capture and storage (CCS) online in yesterday’s pre-Budget report, confirming support for four new power stations with the technology attached. Teesside is one of the front-runners.
Half of a £60m aid package for Teesside, announced on Tuesday in response to the mothballing of Corus’ Teesside Cast Products plant, will be spent on Tees Valley’s move to low-carbon manufacturing - including CCS.
Peter Whitton, CEO of lead company Progressive Energy, said money from the Corus aid package could speed up preparatory work for the project, helping Teesside steal a march on other rival UK locations.
A clutch of major polluters on Teesside, including Corus, would benefit from CCS as the penalties for emitting increase. The facility will also act as a magnet for other heavy industries to the area.
Mr Whitton said: “We are moving towards a transport storage network for that will help underpin existing jobs on Teesside and create many more. It will put Teesside on the map as a good place for industrial development, and enable follow-up projects to develop their infrastructure. We can’t assume anything, but the fact that CCS is specifically mentioned as part of the Government’s aid package this week must mean that Teesside’s project is a very real contender. It’s the best news we’ve had for a long time.”
John Barton, projects director for Wilton-based Renew - pictured - said: “It’s good news for Tees Valley that the Government has committed to four schemes.
“We have the best CCS project in the UK here.
“CCS is fundamentally important to the Tees Valley because of its high percentage of carbon emitting industries, it would give us a unique proposition for inward investors. Any high-carbon sector would see the Tees Valley as a much better home for their business with CCS in place. We are all bitterly disappointed about Corus but we have to look forward. With CCS, we’ve a real chance of securing new investment and a more stable manufacturing base.”
Yesterday clarification was being sought on whether the Government’s announcement meant more investment for CCS.