A REGENERATION organisation is working with a process industry operator to plan the region’s future as a low carbon hub.

Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) and the North-East Process Industry Cluster (Nepic) are developing a strategy aimed at taking advantage of the area’s industrial assets.

Officials say they aim to show the region can play a key role in carbon capture and storage (CCS), district heating, the hydrogen economy and large-scale energy storage, which all have the capacity to create and support thousands of jobs.

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The CCS proposal, which aims to secure carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants and heavy industry before storing it underground to stop it going into the atmosphere, was backed by former Prime Minister David Cameron’s Government.

But it has apparently since been shunted down a list of Whitehall priorities, despite efforts by the Teesside Collective organisation, which previously unveiled a blueprint based upon the Government sharing costs with industry to set up cleaner energy sites.

Now, however, TVCA and Nepic, working with KPMG, hope their six-month project will reignite the focus on CCS and associated ventures to help steer the region towards fresh growth.

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley mayor, said: “This new body of work will demonstrate how we’ll lead the development of a new industrial economy to show how a low carbon future can be achieved.”

Iain Wright, Nepic chief executive, added: “We led the world in steel and chemicals and similar determination will ensure we are at the fore of low carbon manufacturing.

“Such work will not only help maintain our manufacturing competitiveness but also shape new industries, companies and jobs.”