New jobs at £160m biomass plant

NEW BUILD: An artist's impression of the biomass plant at Port Clarence

NEW BUILD: An artist's impression of the biomass plant at Port Clarence

First published in Business News

SCORES of North-East jobs will be created after at a £160m power station.

A 45-megawatt plant will be built at Port Clarence, near Middlesbrough.

The factory, operated by Port Clarence Energy, is expected to burn up to 325,000 tonnes of waste wood every year, creating energy for 50,000 homes.

Bosses say about 50 permanent roles will be needed to run operations, with the plant supporting up to 350 construction posts.

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

The site is expected to be operational by 2017.

The plans, delivered through a partnership between Eco2 Limited and Temporis Capital, were approved by Stockton Council.

Steve Barker, managing director of Darlington-based planning consultancy Prism Planning, which was commissioned to work on the scheme, said the decision was a major boost to the region.

He said: “This is great news for Teesside, especially at a time when the security of gas supplies from Russia is very much in the spotlight.

“It is great to see Stockton helping to deliver practical alternatives.”

Andrew Toft, Eco2's director of projects, previously hailed Teesside’s important role in the renewable energy sector.

He added: “This is an exciting time for the area to increase its contribution to the production of renewable energy and we are delighted to be able to progress the longheld ambition to bring this to Port Clarence.

“'We want to maximise the opportunities it could generate, both in terms of employment and skills.”

Proposals to build a biomass factory on the site, which is next to Koppers UK chemical plant, were first revealed in 2009, but were dashed when the company behind it struggled to attract funding.

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

The plans would have used nut husks from Malaysia, and fitted the factory with a volcano-shaped tower and viewing platforms, as well as soil stacked against its sides to turn the area into a park for walking and tobogganing.

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

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