A CLEAN energy project which could bring 5,500 jobs to Teesside is being launched today.

Some of the world’s biggest energy companies are in Middlesbrough today to launch the Net Zero Teesside project, alongside Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

Previously known as the Clean Gas Project, the major initiative aims to create the UK’s first decarbonised industrial cluster using carbon capture, utilisation and storage.

It could capture up to six million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually – the equivalent annual energy use of two million UK homes – and safely store it under the North Sea and is part of the UK's plans to meet its ambition of having net zero emission by 2050.

The South Tees Development Corporation says it could drive almost half a billion pounds into the regional economy and boost the wider UK by £3.2billion.

Mr Houchen said: “Net Zero Teesside represents the next step in our ambitions for Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to become a pioneer in clean energy, driving almost half a billion pounds into the regional economy and boosting the wider UK by £3.2billion.

“This world-leading industrial-scale decarbonisation project will safeguard and create 5,500 good quality, well paid jobs for local people. It will act as a beacon for new technologies and further investment as other companies are attracted to our area, while helping the UK achieve its clean energy potential.”

Mr Houchen is hosting an event at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium today, where he will  introduce OGCI Climate Investments to announce that a consortium of OGCI members, under the leadership of BP, would be accelerating the Net Zero Teesside Project.

The consortium comprises of Eni, Equinor, Shell, Total and BP.

The project, with a start-up date of mid-2025, would be the first major development to be based on the South Tees Development Corporation site.

It comes just days after a deal to secure the land at the former SSI steelworks site, in Redcar, and bring it back into public ownership, ready for future redevelopment.

Pratima Rangarajan, chief executive of OGCI Climate Investments, said: “Net Zero Teesside is a demonstration of OGCI’s commitment to accelerating CCUS on a global scale. “It’s the anchor project and the first hub within OGCI’s CCUS Kickstarter initiative, aiming to catalyse CCUS hubs around the world, and the move to the operational phase in the project’s development is proof of how OGCI’s initiative is successfully supporting emerging hubs.”

Andy Lane, managing director of Net Zero Teesside, said: “Its advantageous location, advanced planning stage, the expertise of our world class project partners and government support for decarbonisation in the UK mean Net Zero Teesside is uniquely positioned to become the UK’s first decarbonised cluster.

“The formation of such a powerful partnership led by BP demonstrates the industry’s commitment to the UK government’s net zero targets. We’re hugely excited to see Teesside back at the forefront of UK industry and want the project to progress further.”