Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has hailed Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station as a ‘vital asset’ to the region after visiting the site.
The EDF Energy nuclear plant recently began a £60million project for vital improvement.
Hartlepool Power Station is a vital asset to our regionBen Houchen
An extra 1,000 people are now working at the station, with staffing numbers having more than doubled from its usual 750 full-time employees.
The Mayor met Hartlepool power station director Craig Dohring on his visit as he was shown some of the renovations which have been made, including the replacement of steam powered turbines.
Mayor Houchen said: “Hartlepool Power Station is a vital asset to our region.
“It was incredible to see the level of work that goes on at the power station.
“It supports and engages many local businesses and services.
“In taking on apprentices and mentoring young people, it has proved invaluable in inspiring and educating students.
“Promoting engineering and demonstrating the potential for excellent jobs in the sector will help to shore up local talent in the future.”
The power station started construction in the 1970s and contributes about £40million in wages each year.
It produces enough low-carbon electricity each year to power two million homes and undergoes a maintenance shutdown every three years.
Mr Dohring said: “It was great that the Mayor could take time out of his busy schedule to visit us here at the power station, especially as we were in a full maintenance shutdown.
“The shutdowns happen every three years and they are a real boost economically for the area as we see around 1,000 more people working on site for the duration of the work, which this time has been around two months.
“It was interesting to get his views on the role of Mayor across the combined authorities, and to see that we have similar goals with his on issues such as maintaining the area’s economic strengths and also encouraging our young people to stay and thrive in the Tees Valley area, working in high quality jobs.”