A company working towards ways of producing greener steel has opened the first phase of its new pilot plant in Middlesbrough.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen toured the facility and officially inaugurated the Binding Solutions plant, which was built and designed with Keats Site Services Limited and is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of next year.

It will enable BSL to ramp up large scale product testing of its unique pellet manufacturing process for its growing international client base and further develop its proprietary low carbon technology to serve the iron ore and steel manufacturing sectors.

The plant will use BSL’s technology to produce up to two tonnes of cold agglomerated pellets every hour. The process uses minimal heat and energy to produce high quality iron ore pellets for steel producers, which can be transformed into primary steel products.

The process reduces both energy usage and CO2 emissions by approximately 70%, compared to traditional indurated pelletising processes used to create the raw materials required by steel works, while also virtually eliminating some emissions.

Since 2021 BSL has more than doubled its total workforce to 35 employees, creating highly-skilled new jobs for the local area.

Julian Lee, CEO of Binding Solutions said: “This is an important milestone in delivering our Pilot Plant here in Middlesbrough.

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“Our low-carbon technology has the potential to replace and decarbonise a very energy intensive part of the steel making process and the Pilot Plant will take us a major step closer to rolling out our solution for the global steel sector.

"We are looking forward to ramping up work on the plant and bringing it into full operation early next year.”

Ben Houchen said: “It’s a mark of extreme pride that BSL, a business based here in Middlesbrough is not only leading the way in developing technology to decarbonise the steel industry but is also taking that technology global to become an international player in the sector.

"This project shows the breadth of innovation, talent and entrepreneurship we have here in Teesside, and it was a pleasure to officially inaugurate the first stage of this groundbreaking facility.”