INTERNATIONAL bosses have visited the potential site of a new power plant which could create hundreds of jobs and power millions of homes if approved.

Industrial energy supplier Sembcorp Utilities UK first revealed plans for the Tees Combined Cycle Power Plant last year.

If built, the plant, located on the site of the former Teesside Power Station at Wilton, near Redcar, could generate up to 1,700 megawatts - enough electricity for up to five million people.

Bosses say the site could create 60-80 permanent jobs, a further 150 in the supply chain - and up to 1,000 during an anticipated three-year construction.

Insiders also claim the project could be the key to major development on the 4,500 acre South Tees Development Corporation site, which includes the former SSI steelworks site.

Ten directors from the firm's global utilities, marine and urban development group, plus 17 other senior executives from around the world, spent five days on Teesside.

The focus of discussions was on Sembcorp’s integrated energy business, with the UK identified as one of four important strategic investment locations in a comprehensive review of global activities last year.

Nomi Ahmad, head of Sembcorp in the UK, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Board to the UK and to the Tees Valley in particular where there is so much scope for expansion.

“No decisions have yet been made with regards to the gas-fired power station project which is still going through the national planning process.

"However, we’re working hard with all our local stakeholders to ensure that the Government recognises that in the right circumstances reliable and competitively priced supplies of power from Wilton could act as a major magnet to new investment on the South Tees Development Corporation site too.”

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor and chair of the South Tees Development Corporation, said: “Sembcorp is a major player in the region economy and time and time again has demonstrated its dedication to seeing the area thrive.

“It was a pleasure to speak to Sembcorp’s board directors, meet its top bosses from around the globe and thank them for their continued investment and support. As well as that, it was another great opportunity to discuss how Sembcorp can grow and talk up Tees Valley as a fantastic place to live, work and invest.”

The former Teesside Power Station was originally opened by Enron in April 1993, but ceased operation in 2013.

A decision is expected to be made in the new year,