ABOUT 50 North-East jobs could be created at a £160m power station.

Port Clarence Energy has submitted plans for a 45-megawatt plant near Middlesbrough.

The factory would burn up to 325,000 tonnes of waste wood every year, creating energy for 50,000 homes.

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Bosses say about 50 permanent roles would be need to run operations, with the plant supporting another 350 construction roles.

Wood will be taken from forest thinning, reclaimed timber and the construction and demolition sectors.

The development would include a turbine hall and boiler house, a fuel reception area and a fuel storage barn.

Port Clarence Energy is a partnership between Eco2 Limited and Temporis Capital.

Andrew Toft, Eco2's director of projects, said: “This is an exciting time for Teesside to increase its contribution to the production of renewable energy.

“We are delighted to be able to progress the long-held ambition to bring this to Port Clarence.

“We have spent considerable time refining the design proposals to ensure the plant will not impact negatively on the area, while maximising the opportunities it could generate, both in terms of employment and skills.”

Plans to build a biomass factory on the site, which is next to Koppers UK chemical plant, were first revealed in 2009.

Bio Energy Investments (BEI) wanted to build a futuristic plant, designed by internationally-renowned Heatherwick Studio, saying it aimed at imitating South-West London's Battersea Power Station by creating an iconic feature.

However, the plans, which would have seen the factory, complete with a volcano-shaped tower, use nut husks shipped from Malaysia, were dashed when bosses struggled to attract funding.

The original BEI plant design included viewing platforms and soil stacked against its sides, which Heatherwick said would soften the factory's sounds and turn the area into a Power Park for walking and tobogganing.

The company later designed the London Olympic Games Cauldron, which was created in a former aircraft hangar by Stage One, in Tockwith, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire.