A DRIVE to accelerate revolutionary work on industrial emissions has moved a step forward.

Tees Valley Unlimited local enterprise partnership (TVU) has appointed Pale Blue Dot Energy as co-ordinator for its Teesside Industrial Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) project.

The CCS scheme aims to galvanise the region as a pioneer in CCS, which could use energy from Tees Valley's industries to heat businesses, homes, hospitals and council buildings, and store carbon from plants under the North Sea.

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If a team of engineers can prove it works, bosses say it will be the first of its kind in the UK, and one of only a handful worldwide.

Pale Blue Dot Energy, which has extensive experience of working on CCS projects, will build a business case for developing an industrial network on Teesside.

It will design how carbon will be captured, initially from four Teesside plants, determine the best location for carbon storage, and establish how gas will be transported for storage.

Stephen Catchpole, TVU managing director, said: “This is a significant step forward in our ambitions to create a low carbon industrial cluster in Tees Valley.

“CCS will provide a vital extra reason for chemical and industrial companies to invest in Tees Valley and will help push the area ahead of the global and European game.”

Ian Phillips, project manager at Pale Blue Dot, added: “We are delighted to be working on such a visionary initiative.

“Decarbonising our industrial emissions is every bit as important as reducing emissions from power generation, and has been a much-neglected area in the low-carbon debate.”