Six global energy giants planning huge power plant for Teesside

Mayor Ben Houchen Credit: OGCI

The development of a world-first multi-billion pound energy project on Teesside has been welcomed by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

A consortium of six global energy giants have today unveiled phase one of their plans to create a huge power plant on Teesside which will run on natural clean gas.

Branded the ‘Clean Gas Project’, it will be the world’s first gas-powered energy plant to deploy Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) at scale. It means that CO2 from the plant will be captured and then stored via pipelines under the North Sea. The infrastructure created would also enable wider industry on Teesside and elsewhere to capture and store CO2 from their processes.

It's understood that the CCUS technology, once fully developed, could also attract more companies to the region. That could include firms wanting to convert their waste gas into more useful chemicals that can be used in the supply chain. Project developers say this could unlock additional investment that would create thousands of jobs.

The six companies behind the Clean Gas Project, which is led by the consortium OGCI Climate Investments, are:

  • BP

  • ENI

  • Equinor

  • Oxy

  • Shell

  • Total

The fund was created by the CEOs of these major oil and gas giants to take practical action on climate change by investing in technology to lower the carbon footprint of the energy and industrial sectors.

The Tees Valley was selected as the best option for a CCUS cluster out of 50 business models considered by OGCI.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This is the project we’ve been talking about for quite some time. It has taken a while, but I hope the people of the Tees Valley will be pleased with what we’re announcing today.

“This multi-billion pound energy project will pave the way for our region to become the clean energy powerhouse of the UK, creating and safeguarding thousands of jobs.

“We have got some of the biggest companies in the world choosing Teesside to develop this ground-breaking technology – a world first which will also support the development of our huge processing and chemicals industry.”

Redcar MP Anna Turley added:

“This is an exciting investment for Teesside and exactly the kind of modern, green industry we have huge potential to take a lead on. The fact the consortium has chosen Teesside for a world-leading innovative project is a huge vote of confidence in the skills and infrastructure of our area, and I pay tribute to all members of the combined authority and the development corporation who have worked hard to promote our area’s case.

“This is obviously the very early stages of a big project, and the land ownership issues obviously still need to be resolved before this project can progress fully. The onus is now on politicians and officials, locally and in government, to provide the support and confidence needed to bring this to fruition.

“CCUS in particular is a technology with huge potential for Teesside, especially with the infrastructure for storing under the North Sea, but one which has not yet been developed at scale around the world. When I questioned the clean energy minister on this last week, she was reluctant to make any commitments on how government will support development but the private sector are looking to government to make the costs viable.

“I will continue to do my part to press government and to support this project which will be great for jobs and growth on Teesside and which will help our country meet its climate change goals.”

The news follows the announcement by the Chancellor in the Autumn Budget that the South Tees Development Corporation will become the UK’s first Special Economic Area – meaning rent and business rates collected on site will be used to fund further land remediation work.