25,000 jobs at stake, say team

CAMPAIGNERS have lobbied Westminster on a plan which could secure 25,000 Tees Valley jobs.

A delegation from the North- East met with Parliament representatives including MPs Iain Wright from Hartlepool and Grahame Morris from Easington to discuss Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the Tees Valley.

They highlighted the Tees Valley could not only back setting up a carbon capture project based in Easton, but also how it would help to protect jobs elsewhere in the area.

Delegate members included Neil Kenley, Business Investment Director of Tees Valley Unlimited, and Stan Higgins, the chief executive of the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).

Mr Kenley said a CCS system on Teesside can be easily delivered because it was so close to industry.

“This must be an advantage compared to other potential projects locations,” he added.

Mr Higgins was asked about the wider impacts of CCS. He replied: “This is a multi-billion pound infrastructure project and as such will provide a huge amount of engineering work in the region over several years.

“In addition, the underpinning of existing large scale industry is vital for the long term competitiveness of the UK economy. It is essential to the sustaining and growing of our capabilities as an advanced manufacturing economy.”

Factories and electricity production plants use gas, oil, coal, wood and waste to generate their energy or to produce the goods and services used in our everyday lives.

But the carbon dioxide that these factories emit can, with some engineering work, be collected, compressed, then piped and stored.

That would prevent a significant proportion of the carbon dioxide made by human activity being discharged to the Earth’s atmosphere.

Campaigners are hoping that a CCS project based at Wilton would form the anchor for the development of a power and industrial CCS cluster in Teesside and the wider North East of England.

The project would create around 250 direct jobs with a workforce of over 1,000 involved in its construction over a four-year period.

But campaigners say the work would also help to protect 25,000 other jobs in the region.