Plans to build a ‘world-leading’ carbon capture energy facility on Teesside have taken a major step forward after being granted Government approval.

The scene, Net Zero Teesside Power, was rubberstamped by the secretary of state with a development consent order after a two-year planning process.

It will be built on the site of the former Redcar blast furnace with groundwork already underway.

The orders, which are required for major infrastructure projects, mean work can progress on the scheme.

The project, being developed by BP and Equinor at the Teesworks site, aims to be the world’s first gas-fired power station with carbon capture and storage capacity.

Once completed developers say it will generate up to 860 megawatts of low carbon energy – enough to power up to 1.3m homes – and capture two million tonnes of CO2 emissions which would otherwise enter the atmosphere.

The compound will then be transported by pipeline and stored in sealed site under the North Sea. The pipeline, the Northern Endurance Partnership, is awaiting a final investment decision later this year.

Chris Musgrave, Teesworks chair, said: “We've been hard at work preparing the land, planning consent has been secured, and now nothing's holding us back in getting this transformational scheme off the ground.

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“Net Zero Teesside Power is a key part of the puzzle to our carbon capture and storage ambitions, feeding into the net zero ambitions of existing businesses and becoming a prime asset for others looking to relocate here. This shows the speed at which we're moving for the good of local people and the region."

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added: “This is a welcome next step towards getting spades into the ground for this huge investment, which will help make us the first decarbonised industrial cluster, pioneering clean energy while creating the good-quality jobs of the future.

“This is just the start of BP's plans for our area, with blue and green hydrogen development in the pipeline among other projects. Our Joint Venture Partners have been critical in helping get NZT Power over the line and will play a huge part in the upcoming schemes too.”