NEW business venture Thor Cogeneration yesterday unveiled plans for a green power station on Teesside.

Thor - a spin-off from the new business development team of Teesside Power Station operator PX Group - has secured funding from an unnamed "big financial player" for the 1,000-megawatt gas-fired station.

The Northern Echo understands that up to £500m will be invested in the plant and hundreds of jobs will be created during the construction phase.

Thor has secured a 25-acre site for the power station near to the Teesside Gas Processing Plant, which is also operated by PX and provides direct access to North Sea gas supplies.

The firm yesterday said it had submited plans to the Department of Trade and Industry and Stockton Borough Council.

Subject to approval, it expects construction to begin later this year and said it will be supplying power to the national grid in 2009.

Thor said the station would be greener and cleaner than other power stations across the UK, using the latest technology to reduce the amount of gas needed to generate electricity and cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent compared to coal-fired plants.

Thor Cogeneration project manager Paul Verrill said: "This will be a highly efficient operation, using the very latest technology to minimise environmental impact.

"It fits well with the Government's recent energy review which concluded that while the drive to develop alternative and renewable energy sources continues, a new generation of cleaner, super-efficient gas fired power stations is likely to remain necessary in the short to medium term.

"This new plant will provide greener, reliable energy at a time when many existing power generation assets around the UK, particularly the ageing coal and nuclear fleet, are reaching the end of their operating life."

Regional development agency One NorthEast (One) yesterday gave its support to the project.

David Allison, One's director of business and industry, said: "Not only would it create significant construction opportunity, but is synergistic to existing and proposed major regional projects."

PX was established in 2002 to operate Teesside Power Station and gas processing plant.

Its new business development team has since secured a number of other contracts including the operation and management of Fellside Power Station, in Cumbria, and Viking Power Plant at Seal Sands, Teesside.

It has also secured work with a biodiesel plant on Humberside and all land-based aspects of a £30m gas port on Teesside.