Wilton ‘benchmark’ clean power plant to create 2,000 jobs


A major clean-energy power plant is being built in Teesside, creating thousands of jobs.

The Wilton International-based Whitetail clean energy project ‘benchmark’ is the first of its kind in the UK.

The construction of the gigantic power plant alone will create around 2,000 jobs – with 200 more direct roles and more in the supply chain, once operational.

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It will be located on the grounds of the Redcar Chemical Complex which is part of the Teesside Freeport, joining a number of clean energy and renewable energy initiatives currently underway.

US clean energy innovation firm 8 Rivers Capital and Sembcorp Energy UK will develop the new plant which, subject to regulatory support and final approval, could be commissioned as early as 2025.

It will connect to the Wilton port and pipeline, with all carbon emissions captured and transported under the North Sea for permanent storage, making it a ‘net zero’ project.

Sembcorp is co-owner of the Wilton chemical complex, much of which benefits from cost reductions thanks to its free port status.

Once operational, the state-of-the-art power plant will generate 300 megawatts of electricity, with potential for expansion in the future.

First supported by the government for research and development in 2012, the technology used for the Whitetail project is being hailed as a “critical step” towards achieving the UK’s net zero emissions target.

The project will also support the retraining of engineers, giving them the skills to operate the plant.

The Mayor of Tees Valley, Ben Houchen

Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley, said: “This is yet another huge boost for Teesside and will see more good quality and well paying jobs created first in construction and then in the innovative construction sector. ‘clean energy.

“Sembcorp Energy UK with its Wilton International site is an incredible company in our region.

“Whether it’s carbon capture, hydrogen or renewable energy, Teesside is already leading the way for the rest of the UK to follow and champion these new technologies.

“This project complements what we are doing at the Teesworks site to make Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool a powerhouse in this area.

“We will continue to capitalize on new opportunities as the Teesside Freeport becomes operational, bringing with it more investment and jobs. ”

The project will be connected to the same network as Net Zero Teesside, the world’s first carbon-free industrial cluster, which will give existing heavy industry a way to store its carbon.

Last week, global CEO of energy company bp, Bernard Looney, visited the region to see the Net Zero Teesside site firsthand and to check on the progress.

The power plant aims to be operational within the next five years and plans to capture up to 10 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

bp is also creating H2 Teesside, its flagship “blue hydrogen” project, which will store its carbon dioxide at sea via the same infrastructure.

Alex Cunningham, Labor MP for Stockton North, said the power plant was “great news”.

Alex Cunningham, MP
Alex Cunningham, MP

“I have long championed both carbon capture and storage and Teesside as the ideal location for a decarbonization cluster,” he said, “and I’m delighted to see our region leading the way with a also innovative project.

“Not only is this a major step forward for the UK’s Net Zero 2050 ambition, the construction of the station will create around 2,000 good quality jobs for the region, with more jobs created for the operation of the factory.

“It is essential that local people can access these jobs and that they are well paid.

“I will be supporting unions and Sembcorp and 8 Rivers to ensure that local people benefit from this announcement. “

Andy Koss, CEO UK & Middle East, Sembcorp Industries said: “Helping bring this one-of-a-kind carbon capture technology to Teesside is part of Sembcorp Energy UK’s commitment to reducing emissions from carbon from its power generation assets in Wilton. International and be a leading provider of sustainable solutions. “

Marie Lanigan
Marie Lanigan

Mary Lanigan, leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “It’s about bringing the industries of the future to our region, which will provide the high quality jobs that the people of Redcar and Cleveland deserve for years to come. come. “

Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: “This is an extremely important announcement for Teesside, which brings more very good jobs and helps reinforce our importance as a home for the revolution of clean energy in the UK.

“8 Rivers Capital and Sembcorp Energy UK deserve the greatest credit for delivering this excellent new asset to our industrial base. “

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, said: “The fact that this ‘first of its kind’ sustainable technology is happening in Teesside is a testament to the enthusiasm and potential that industry leaders see unleashed in our part of the world. country. . “

Cam Hosie, Managing Director of 8 Rivers Capital, said the project represents a key step towards Net Zero with the UK and US working closely together.

He added: “UK leadership in supporting the Allam-Fetvedt cycle will lead to significant investment in the UK.

Ron DeGregorio, CEO of NET Power, said: “In addition to these two development partners, the UK government has been instrumental in supporting this project, and its foresight and leadership on carbon capture and storage. should serve as inspiration for the rest of the world to take bold steps to reach net zero.

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