A MAJOR green energy project on Teesside has been chosen by the Government to lead the UK’s net zero ambitions.

The announcement is a major boost for the region's ambitious plans to create more than 25,000 jobs and pump around £2bn into the economy by breathing new life into the former steelworks site in Redcar, turning it into a world-leading centre of green technologies.

Net Zero Teesside, part of the East Coast Cluster, will be based at Teesworks, and will now receive a share of the £1billion Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Infrastructure fund to create the country’s first decarbonised industrial cluster in the region.

The East Coast Cluster is a partnership between NZT, the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) and Zero Carbon Humber. It stands ready to remove 50% of the UK’s industrial cluster CO2 emissions and supports the UK’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Read more: BP announces plans for UK's largest 'blue' hydrogen project 

NZT Power is a new gas-fired power plant that uses carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies in collaboration with the NEP to develop the common infrastructure needed to transport CO2 from industrial plants across Teesside to secure offshore storage in the Endurance aquifer in the Southern North Sea.

The project is set to create more than 25,000 jobs by 2050 and bring on average £2bn in GVA. Construction for the schemes is expected to create over 9,000 direct jobs alone.

Along with creating thousands of good-quality, well paid jobs during construction and operation, Net Zero Teesside is also essential for safeguarding thousands of jobs in Teesside’s chemicals and processing industries.

The Northern Echo: Ben HouchenBen Houchen

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I’m delighted that, once again, our region has been firmly placed on the map and the Government has selected Teesside as their premier net zero project. Make no mistake, Teesside is now the go-to place to develop green and clean technologies of the future.

“This announcement will allow the negotiations with Teesworks and Net Zero Teesside to be finalised and then work can crack on with the £220million engineering and design of the mammoth project. Once built it will lead the UK’s net zero ambitions and become the country’s first decarbonised industrial cluster.

Read more: Hydrogen deal boost for plans on Teesside

“This project is set to create many thousands of jobs, not only in construction, but in low-carbon technologies creating, cleaner, healthier and safer communities across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”

Andy Lane, MD of Northern Endurance Partnership, said: “Today is a significant milestone on our country’s journey to net zero emissions by 2050. We are delighted that the East Coast Cluster has been selected and we will look forward to delivering our project, removing up to 50% of the UK’s industrial cluster CO2 emissions, creating tens of thousands of jobs and establishing the UK as a leader in the energy transition.”

The NZT Power plant is being delivered by a consortium led by bp and recently both Kellas and bp have announced blue hydrogen production facilities across Teesside.  

Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: "This is absolutely fantastic news for our clean energy revolution. I'm very proud that Teesside will sit at the heart of the UK’s first carbon capture, utilisation and storage project.

"During the first industrial revolution, our region led the world. Now, at the dawn of the Green Industrial Revolution, once again it's Teesside that leads the way."

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, said: "I’m absolutely buzzing that Net Zero Teesside has been backed by government, putting it on course for development by the end of this decade. I mentioned this project in my maiden speech over 18 months ago, and so I’m really pleased to see it get the go ahead.

"For me this isn’t just about creating new jobs in our area but also protecting the jobs that already exist in our industry."

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham said:  “That Teesside will be at the forefront of Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage as part of the East Coast Cluster is fantastic news.

"I’ve long campaigned for Teesside to be the home for the first CCUS clusters and set up the All-Party Parliamentary Group to promote this in Westminster and beyond and I’m delighted that the Government has now accepted that Teesside is the ideal place for such a project."

Mary Lanigan, Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: "It is also a fantastic opportunity to transform and develop the many world-leading businesses we have and take a huge stride towards our ambitions to become carbon-neutral.

“We are passionate about developing our economy and providing a better place to live for our residents and this is another example of a project which can provide both of these objectives.”

The Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), welcomed the announcement, which followed a Government’s Cluster Sequencing competition and also named HyNet North West as the other winning bid.

But Chief Executive Ruth Herbert warned: "It is now absolutely critical that the industry has clarity over the long-term rollout of CCUS. If we are to achieve our climate goals, the industry and wider supply chain need a clear line of sight to the future delivery of CCUS across the country.

"Ahead of next week’s Spending Review, we are calling for the Government to introduce a delivery plan for CCUS – setting annual spending budgets over the next decade to give the industry certainty to invest in projects now.”



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