Teesside-based clean energy projects are to get a share of £350 million to support green jobs.
The Government announced the package of support to fund carbon capture, hydrogen and other green projects across the UK.
The money will support businesses across the UK’s industrial heartlands utilise hydrogen power and carbon capture and storage instead of natural gas, as well as helping energy-intensive businesses reduce their energy bills, creating new, green jobs and lowering carbon emissions – aimed at cutting manufacturers’ overall emissions by 20 per cent by 2030.
Net Zero Teesside, aimed at creating the world’s first full-scale carbon capture, utilisation and storage facility, is among 25 projects across the country to get a share of the cash.
The Government has allocated £139 million to cut emissions in heavy industry by supporting the transition from natural gas to clean hydrogen power, and scaling up carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology which can stop more than 90 per cent of emissions being released from industrial plants into the air by storing carbon permanently underground.
It is hoped the Teesside project will create thousands of direct jobs, while pumping almost half a billion pounds into the regional economy and boosting the wider UK by £3.2billion.
The ambitious project by five of the world’s largest oil companies could capture and store up to ten million tonnes of CO2 each year, in a process which removes carbon from heavy industry and power plants and transports it by pipeline to storage sites under the North Sea.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:
“It is fantastic that the government has thrown its weight behind our clean energy plans.
“Here in Teesside we are leading the way for our green recovery and I am delighted that the government has recognised this and put us right at the front of its plans for the UK’s green ambition.
“Net Zero Teesside isn’t just a key part of my plan for jobs – a plan to create good quality, high skilled local jobs for local people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool – but it will create the clean, green jobs which are essential for our recovery and our future.
“We are already leading the way in the UK in new, clean and innovate technologies.
“The UKs first trail on e-scooters on UK roads will take place across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, providing us with a clean, innovative form of travel that is widely available as a clean energy, socially distant mode of transport.”
“Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering for generations. Now we can become a trail blazer in the industries of the future, and I am delighted that the government recognises this and shares my ambition for our region.”
Chris McDonald, chief executive of the Materials Processing Institute, in Teesside, said:
“This region possesses the expertise, facilities and skills to develop a hydrogen-based energy system that will play a crucial role in this country achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“There are chemical industry complexes both north and south of the Tees that have a detailed understanding and experience of hydrogen, while this region is unique in possessing a bulk hydrogen network.
“The institute has long-been involved in research into substituting carbon fuels with hydrogen in industrial processes, together with other projects that support the decarbonisation process.
“Land next to our campus has already been selected as the site for a hydrogen refuelling station for hydrogen-powered vehicles.
“We already have a solid foundation from which to create new industries and employment.
“This investment further supports this region’s ambitions to become a crucible of knowledge, ideas and innovation to place it at the forefront of a new industrial revolution.”
The announcement follows Mr Houchen’s calls to government to establish a National Hydrogen Transport Centre in Teesside, which would result in the testing of new hydrogen technologies, including for cars, buses, trains, bin lorries and trucks, taking place in Teesside, where more than half of the UK’s hydrogen is already produced.
The National Hydrogen Transport Centre would sit alongside plans to build the world’s biggest hydrogen refuelling station in Teesside.