Plans unveiled for £230 million energy plant in Hartlepool
Plans to build a new £230 million power plant in Hartlepool that will create more than 300 jobs have been unveiled today.
Company Graythorp Energy Ltd intends to build a Combined Heat and Power plant on a 15-acre site at Tofts Road West, next to the Graythorp Industrial Estate south of Seaton Carew.
Bosses say the plant would turn up to 550,000 tonnnes of dry household and industrial waste a year that would otherwise go to landfill or be sent to Europe into enough electricity to for around 100,000 homes.
It will also be designed to be able to provide heat for local industries.
A planning application is due to be submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council before the end of June.
Ray Tucker, Managing Director of Graythorp Energy, said it would be a major boost to the Hartlepool economy.
He said: "The prospect in terms of job creation is going to be significant. As many as 300 people will be employed on site during the tree-year construction phase."
The centre itself, which would run for 25 years or more, would also employ 40 people. And around £1.5 million a year in rates would go to the local authority.
Leaders of the project have launched a public consultation exercise and have moved to remove any fears from residents in Seaton Carew just over half a mile away.
Nick Roberts, a planning consultant for Axis PED, said: "They wont hear anything or smell anything.
"The traffic will not go past them. We don't believe there's going to be any material effect on Seaton Carew."
Mr Roberts said the tops of the buildings at around 45 metres and an emissions chimney stack of between 85 and 90 metres, may be visible from some parts, but said it would not be out of place with the industrial character of the area.
He added an environmental permit would be required and all emissions from the plant would meet strict controls and be continuously monitored.
Waste transported to the site would be in enclosed trailers that would arrive from the south via Tees Road, Brenda Road and Tofts Road West.
It would be unloaded in a sealed hall inside the centre and no fuel would be stored outside at any time.
Project leaders said it is the cleanest form of energy production after nuclear and uses tried and tested technology.
Mr Roberts said Hartlepool was chosen following a wide search because of the combination of a large enough industrial site, the road network, workforce and skills in the area and connectivity to the national grid.
"If you take that package of elements, it's very difficult to find sites in the UK. It is a very strong site."
Mr Tucker said they hoped to gain planning permission by the end of this year and the plant would open in 2023.
The company last night presented the proposals to Hartlepool councillors. And it has gained support from Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.
Mayor Houchen said: "It's fantastic to see yet more major investment in Hartlepool. Our region is fast becoming the UK's energy powerhouse, and this huge £230million facility in the town will only add to our credentials.
"I hope the company prioritises as many local people as possible to work on site."
A public exhibition will be held on Tuesday, May 21, at Seaton Carew Sports and Social Club, Elizabeth Way, from 3.30pm to 7.30pm when visitors will have the chance to find out more and comment on the project.
People can also find out more and comment online at the project's website at www.graythorp.energy