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Energy bosses start North-East recruitment drive

Energy bosses start North-East recruitment drive

6:00am Wednesday 10th July 2013

By Steven Hugill

BOSSES behind plans to build two pioneering waste-to-energy gas plant have begun fulfilling their promise of creating North-East jobs after recruiting the first workers to spearhead the development.

US firm Air Products says it has started appointing staff at its advanced gasification plant, in Billingham, near Stockton, which will be one of the largest of its type in the world.

The factory, due to start production next Spring, will be the UK’s first energy from waste power station to use plasma technology that generates renewable energy by burning domestic and commercial waste destined for landfill.

The company says the workers will start in the next two months, and will form part of a 50-strong team, including engineering and maintenance posts, which it wants to fill with more North-East workers.

Built on Tees Valley enterprise zone land, bosses say the plant’s gasifier, shipped to Teesside from Malaysia, will supply energy for about 50,000 homes every year.

The development has supported about 700 North-East construction jobs, including a £3m contract for Redhall Engineering, in Middlesbrough, to make and install pipework, and the firm wants to build a second plant on nearby land.

Andrew Connolly Air Products’ Tees Valley facility manager, said it chose to move to Teesside ahead of other potential UK sites, and believed the development would strengthen the North-East economy.

Mr Connolly said the firm has been supported by Tees Valley Unlimited local enterprise partnership (TVU), which had enabled it to build a platform to grow on Teesside.

He said: “We have been working on Teesside for many years and appreciate the importance of maintaining and supporting a strong local economy.

“We chose this area because of its historical links, availability of industrial zone land, good access to electricity networks and the National Grid, and excellent road links.

“It will bring a triple bonus effect of new jobs and technology investment for the North-East, low carbon power generation, and better waste management.

“As a company, we have also valued the advice and support of TVU and other agencies on Teesside as it has taken forward the plans for the energy plant.

“It is providing valuable impetus to bring more investment and jobs to Teesside.”

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