£75m waste-to-energy plant planned for region

First published in Business News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Business Editor

A MULTI-MILLION pound plant to turn household waste into energy could be built in the North-East if plans to create the biggest facility of its kind go ahead.

Teesside-based Scott Brothers Group has joined forces with Devon company O2N in a bid to create the UK’s biggest facility of its kind, the £75m Billingham Energy gasifier, on the old ICI Billingham site at Haverton Hill.

Up to 40 permanent roles would be created if the 14-mega watt plant goes ahead, with the plant also boosting the construction sector by creating another 150 positions over the course of its two year build.

The firms behind the project say finance discussions are well advanced, and the plant could be up and running by 2015.

They also predict that 20 other waste-to-energy plants could be created in the UK over the next ten to 15 years.

They believe the project, which comes just weeks after Air Products announced they were creating a second waste-to-energy facility in Billingham, will help confirm the region’s status as a hub for the growing technology.

Once in operation, up to 160,000 tonnes of household and industrial waste from Teesside and beyond can be processed into clean energy every year by the plant.

Design, construction, procurement and operation will be carried out by AECOM, the firm behind the Shard in London.

Frank Cooke, managing director of Scott Brothers Group, said: “Often with gasification technology in the UK, projects turn out to be long-term and difficult to get off the ground.

“This is an American design, there are more than 20 similar ones in operation around the world, particularly in Scandinavia and Germany – it’s a tried and tested technology.

“There are some in the UK but none of this size at the moment.

“We are in well advanced discussions on finance. We are also talking to both national and local waste suppliers.

“The majority of the electricity created could be used by local chemical companies.”

He said it was fitting they were hoping to create employment with a new technology on a site that once had tens of thousands of people working there.

“This project will not only create jobs, but renewable electricity using clean technology.

“We are so confident in the technology O2N is developing, we’ve taken a 25 per cent stake in the company.”

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