Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has welcomed the government’s backing for Net Zero Teesside, the UK’s ground-breaking carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) project, following the announcement of £200m of new funding to create two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s, with another two set to be created by 2030.
CCUS is key to achieving the government’s target of reaching net-zero by 2050.
The announcement puts Teesside at the forefront of the UK’s efforts to reduce emissions and paves the way for the creation of thousands of good-quality well paid jobs across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool in a clean industry of the future.
This additional £200m takes the total amount invested in CCUS to £1 billion, helping to support 50,000 jobs across the UK, including on Teesside.
Net Zero Teesside aims to develop the UK’s first decarbonised industrial cluster and it will be established at Teesworks, the UK’s largest industrial zone.
The project is being delivered by a consortium of the world’s largest oil companies, led by BP, and the project will be operational by 2030.
Last month, Net Zero Teesside signed a partnership with Zero Carbon Humber that will help accelerate the development of offshore carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure in the North Sea.
The scheme is estimated to bring £450m in annual gross benefit to the Teesside region and could support up to 5,500 direct jobs during construction alone.
Mayor Houchen said: “When Iron Ore was discovered in the Cleveland hills in 1850 it sparked a revolution that transformed our region and gave birth to the Infant Hercules that built the world and changed the lives of everyone in Teesside like never before.
“Today we are on the cusp of another revolution just as seismic and has the potential to be as transformational for the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
“Investing in the clean industries of the future is not just important in achieving net-zero, it’s also crucial for jobs, that’s why backing this industry and the technologies that will power it forward is a key part of my plan for jobs – good-quality, well paid jobs that will make a real difference to people’s lives and put more money in their pockets for them and their families.
“I am thrilled that the government has thrown its weight behind carbon capture, utilisation and storage.
“We rightly have an ambitious target to be net-zero as a nation by 2050, and the only way we are going to reach this is if we invest now in the technologies to deliver it.
“Thanks to our unrivalled reputation when it comes to heavy industry and ingenuity, Teesside has an enviable reputation across the world as a place that gets things done, and now we are at the forefront of delivering carbon capture. With Net Zero Teesside we are delivering the world’s first industrial scale CCUS project.
“Backed by the biggest global oil and energy companies, this project would have been located anywhere in the world, but the likes of BP and Total decided to build it here because they knew we had the skills to make their ambitious plans a reality.”