Local people living and working in the Billingham and Port Clarence areas of the UK have met members of the Air Products team who are wishing to build the Tees Valley Renewable Energy Facility, a 49MW power generation project that will use waste destined to landfill to supply electricity to more than 50,000 homes in the North East. The exhibition, which was held at Stockton City Learning Centre on 18th October and the Port Clarence Community Centre on 19th October, was an opportunity for local people to learn more about the proposed project, which was announced in July 2010, in advance of a planning application being submitted by Air Products to Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. The proposed scheme is to be located at the Reclamation Pond site (adjacent to the North Tees Chemical Complex near Billingham) which is now part of the New Energy and Technology Business Park. Subject to securing planning approval from Stockton Council and an environmental permitting consent from the Environment Agency, the Tees Valley scheme will generate renewable electricity and create up to 50 permanent jobs and 500-700 jobs during its three-year construction period. Ian Williamson, EHA president and European Hydrogen and Bio Energy Director at Air Products said: “We trust that everyone who visited the exhibition found it worthwhile. We wanted to give people the opportunity to learn more about the environmental merits of our technology and how our scheme will benefit the local economy, and importantly to enable people to meet and question the Air Products team. Sharing our plans with the local community is an important element of our work and we will continue to keep the community fully informed of our progress. In due course, we hope that local people and businesses will wish to be involved in the scheme’s construction and operation.” The renewable energy project, which will use advanced gasification technology to convert pre-processed waste into electricity, has been welcomed by a number of local organisations including NEPIC, the North East Chamber of Commerce, Renew@CPI and Tees Valley Unlimited and it has received support from regional development agency One North East via the Tees Valley Industrial Programme. Subject to planning approval and financing, the Air Products Tees Valley Renewable Energy Facility is targeted to enter commercial operation in early 2014.

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