THE US firm behind a major waste-to-power plant on Teesside is seeking to open talks with potential partners for the scheme.
Last year Air Products announced plans for a renewable energy facility that will convert household and commercial waste into enough renewable electricity to power 50,000 North-east homes.
A planning application has now been submitted to Stockton Council and construction work on the 49-megawatt station is expected to start later this year.
Air Products is eyeing up local companies that could use electricity from the plant to power their operations, but no deals will be done until the scheme has been approved.
Ian Williamson, European hydrogen and bio-energy director at Air Products, said: “If we successfully secure permission for the facility, Air Products will be looking to work with local firms in its construction and operation.
“We’re already working closely with the site’s owner, Impetus Waste Management, and have just brought Foster Wheeler’s Stockton office on board to support us for engineering design - so we know what expertise local companies can bring.
“We got some good vibes from Teesside. We found that people are very positive about waste-to-energy.”
Based at the Reclamation Pond site near Billingham, the scheme will create 500-700 jobs during the three-year construction period as well as up to 50 permanent jobs.
If it goes ahead, it will build on Teesside’s growing expertise in energy creation from waste.
Last week saw the official launch of the Wilton-based Anaerobic Digestion Development Centre (ADDC), which will convert food and other organic waste into power.
Northumbrian Water’s £33m Bran Sands plant, which turns sludge into green electricity, has cut the utility firm’s energy costs by around 10% since it was launched in 2009.
Meanwhile, MGT Power is pushing ahead with plans for £400m biomass station that will generate enough electricity to power 600,000 homes.
Air Products said its scheme could offer something different to the renewables mix on Teesside.
Advanced gasification technology will convert feedstocks such as non-recyclable waste into an energy-rich gas stream product, which can be used to generate renewable power, hydrogen or bio-fuels.
The process will also produce a non-hazardous by-product - slag - which can be used in floor tiles, insulation and landscaping blocks.