Tees mayor and industry giants launch UK-first clean energy project

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has met representatives from some of the world’s biggest energy companies to officially launch a clean energy project set to bring 5,500 jobs to the area.

At an event at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium, the mayor introduced 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.

Previously known as the Clean Gas Project, this major initiative aims to create the UK’s first decarbonised industrial cluster using Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS).

It could drive almost half a billion pounds into the regional economy and boost the wider UK by £3.2billion.

Working in partnership with local industry and other regional stakeholders, the project could capture six million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually – the equivalent annual energy use of two million UK homes – and safely store it under the North Sea.

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 the Tees Valley mayor, also chairman of the development corporation, struck a landmark deal to secure the land at the former SSI steelworks site and bring it back into public ownership, ready for future redevelopment.

Mayor Houchen said: “We’ve been working to deliver Net Zero Teesside for some time, and I’m delighted to now officially launch this landmark project.

“It 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.”

Pratima Rangarajan, CEO 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 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 quickly.”

The transportation and storage infrastructure will encourage new investment in the region from industries that wish to store or use CO2. A combined cycle gas turbine facility with state-of-the-art carbon capture technology will provide low carbon power as a complement to renewable energy sources and underpin the investment in the infrastructure.

Net Zero Teesside will also announce that it has signed memorandums of understanding with three industrial partners, demonstrating the strong commitment to decarbonising local industry.

The project will play a significant role in helping the UK reach its net zero 2050 greenhouse gas emissions target.

 

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