November 25, 2020 @ 11:44 by Steven Hugill
A port operator has revealed £430 million plans to create a second Tees Valley waste-to-energy plant it says will deliver and support hundreds of jobs.
PD Ports has signed an agreement with Wentworth Clean Power Limited (WCP) to bring a factory to Teesport Commerce Park.
Bosses say the plant – earmarked to power in excess of 16,000 homes – will support around 300 construction jobs and create 50 full-time roles when operational from late 2025 onwards.
The announcement marks a £600 million-plus double boost for PD Ports and the Tees Valley, as it comes just days after the port operator revealed a deal with WCP to build the Teesport Renewable Energy Centre – also on Teesport Commerce Park.
That waste-to-energy plant, which bosses say represents a £230 million investment, is expected to open in late 2024 and provide power for up to 27,000 homes, creating 40 full-time posts when operational.
Both factories, officials say, will hold potential to supply heat and electric to local and planned developments.
Frans Calje, PD Ports’ chief executive [pictured below], said: “This is fantastic news for the whole of the Tees Valley.
“We have secured over £600 million of private investment to bring these facilities to our region that will, in turn, create jobs, boost prosperity and place us at the forefront of the net-zero agenda.
“At PD Ports, we are constantly working to support sustainable practices and reduce our impact on the environment.
“We are committed to supporting the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda for the North, while also seeking to deliver more efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions to aid the target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – these waste-to-energy projects fully support that commitment.”
WCP, developers of advanced and differentiated waste-to-energy projects in the UK, together with its partners, will develop, finance and deliver both projects.
Philip Spanos, WCP chief executive, added: “We are delighted to be delivering not one but two highly advanced, sustainable energy and waste management projects to the Tees Valley and look forward to playing our role, alongside PD Ports and local stakeholders, in contributing to the realisation of the immense potential of this region.”
Bosses say the scale and nature of the second investment means the venture is likely to be considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, with various works and studies now underway in advance of a formal planning application being submitted in the second half of next year.
Reacting to the announcement, Councillor Mary Lanigan, leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is more good news about potential major investment for our borough and it is testament to the hard work of everyone involved – as well as the fact that Redcar and Cleveland is a fantastic place to invest and do business.”
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston added: “At a hugely challenging time for business, it’s fantastic that PD Ports has won massive new private investment for our area, creating hundreds of new jobs.
“Our region was synonymous with the chemical and steel industries but now we can build a reputation as world leaders in a fast-growing sector as we focus increasingly on environmental issues.”