Recently basic steel making production was announced as returning to Teesside in the form of an electric arc furnace to be sited at Lackenby – part of the Teesworks industrial site.

It will use green technology to melt scrap and produce new steel and create up to 300 direct jobs with more anticipated from the construction stage and the supply chain.

But what other projects are said to be on the cards at Teesworks, which once housed the huge Redcar SSI steel plant and is now being reclaimed for economic regeneration and hoped-for new investment? Here is a brief rundown.

Net Zero Teesside

NZT Power aims to be the world’s first commercial scale gas-fired power station with carbon capture and storage capability and will help drive Teesside’s aim to become the UK’s first decarbonised industrial cluster as early as 2030.

The power station will generate up to 860 megawatts of low carbon electricity – enough to power up to 1.3m UK homes. Up to two million tonnes of CO2 emissions from the power station will be captured each year, emissions which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

The project could create and support up to 4,000 jobs during construction and operations,  with predictions it could add £300m to the economy per year.

Remediation of the 100 acre plot on which it will be built – which was once the location of the former Redcar blast furnace – started this year with a ground-breaking ceremony taking place in September and commercial operation is slated to begin in 2027. 

SeAH Offshore Wind

This is set to be the world’s largest factory for the manufacture of offshore wind monopiles –  the huge steel tubes that form the foundations of the construction of offshore wind turbines – and has been described as being the size of 14 Riverside Stadiums.

About £450m is due to be invested in the facility with the potential for 2,250 jobs eventually being realised.

Construction work on the South Bank Quay at Teesworks started in July 2022 and is said to be well underway. The plant could begin production in mid to late 2024.

Circular Fuels Ltd Renewable Gas 

Here non-recyclable residual waste from households and industry will be taken and converted into renewable dimethyl ether (rDME). 

This is described as a safe, cost-effective and clean-burning renewable fuel which can be stored in cylinders to help decarbonise the normally hard-to-reach properties not connected to the UK’s national gas grid. 

When fully up and running in 2025, it will have the capacity to produce 50,000 tonnes of fuel per year.

About £150m is being invested in the project with 50 jobs due to be created as part of the day to day operation and 250 indirect jobs.

Circular Fuels is leasing about 24 acres of land at Dorman Point on the Teesworks site.

Tees Valley Energy Recovery Facility

With a similar element to the above, this plant when built will burn 450,000 tonnes of non-recyclable household waste to generate heat and electrical energy, which will be transported off site to power homes and businesses.

The overall cost of the project has been put at £300m and it involves a number of North-East councils who are partners in the scheme.

Several hundred jobs could be created during the building of the plant with 40 permanent posts being created to operate it.

A procurement process is being led by Hartlepool Council to find an operator with three bidders previously shortlisted – SUEZ, Viridor and Green Recovery Projects Ltd – final tenders having been submitted by the latter two companies.

It is to be built on land west of Tees Dock Road, in Grangetown, with the aim for it to be up and running potentially from 2026.

Any other projects in the offing?

Earlier this year members of the South Tees Development Corporation (STDC) board were told that 50% of the Teesworks site able to be built upon was “either in delivery, in legals or heads of terms”.

Group chief executive Julie Gilhespie also said “tenant interest is strong and continues to grow” with further progress being awaited particularly by some local politicians keen for the mammoth site to deliver its full potential.

Mrs Gilhespie did sound a note of caution and that STDC is working on “several significant projects all of which carry delivery risks”.

More plans in development include two large-scale green hydrogen project facilities with BP near to the Net Zero Teesside site.

Willis Lease Finance Corporation and its subsidiary Willis Sustainable Fuels (UK) Limited are also drawing up proposals for a multi-million-pound refinery at Dorman Point expected to be operational from 2026.

The refinery will convert feedstocks derived from industrial waste, CO2 and green hydrogen produced from renewable electricity into aircraft fuel and it is claimed could deliver substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry.

Recommended reading:

Get the latest news, sports, and entertainment delivered straight to your device with a subscription to The Northern Echo. Click here 

What This week Willis Sustainable Fuels was awarded £4.7m from the Department for Transport’s Advanced Fuels Fund which aims to assist firms developing sustainable aviation fuel.

Meanwhile, new business units are due to be built at South Bank – 43 in total offering almost 100,000 square feet of industrial, commercial and office space for local businesses –  it has been announced, with construction starting next year subject to planning approval.

A park and ride scheme is also due to be delivered at Teesworks and is in the preparation stage of construction.

It will contain 1,294 spaces and associated facilities and be sited to the east of the former Steel House offices and north of the A1085 trunk road.