Air Products Scraps Teesside Energy From Waste Development

Air-Products-TeessidePlans for the second phase of a renewable energy plant on Teesside have been scrapped, following work that was halted in November last year.

Air Products has announced it intends to exit the energy from waste market and sell both Tees Valley 1 and 2 gasification plants, blaming technical problems and rising costs.

The move means the US firm company would be writing-off of about £770m.

The site, at Port Clarence, near Hartlepool, still employs more than 150 office staff and contractors. According to reports, Northern Powerhouse minister James Wharton said the firm had reassured him there would be “no immediate job losses”.

Air Products chief executive Seifi Ghasemi said the firm “pushed very hard” to make the technology work and he “certainly understood” the disappointment of staff.

“…the Board of Directors has decided that it is no longer in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to continue the Tees Valley projects”

In November, the company said construction had been suspended because it has identified improvements through the work at its first plant that would also apply to the second site. It said that by deferring construction “we will be able to ensure any modifications are applied in a cost-effective way when activity is resumed”. The move resulted in 700 job losses.

To this, the firm stated yesterday: “Consequently, the Board of Directors has decided that it is no longer in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to continue the Tees Valley projects.”

The company said it planned to seek a buyer for the part-built facility.

The plant, which would have generated energy for about 100,000 homes by using optimised plasma gasification technology to convert refuse derived fuel into synthetic gas.

The facility had originally been due to enter operations in summer 2014.

Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, told BBC news it was “another blow for the Teesside economy”.

He said: “The news that Air Products is to write off its Teesside energy-from-waste development is the latest part of the crisis that is sweeping the UK’s industrial sector.

“I will be seeking assurances from Air Products that they are looking to find a sustainable, long-term buyer who can continue with this project and that they are not just looking to scrap the whole plant, which is nearly complete.”

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  1. We fail to innovate, we fail to support new developments through R&D, we fail to appreciate that only by making things and selling them to other do we stand a chance of turning around the failure of the UK by over dependency on the fictional ‘Service Industry’, including banking, social services, local Government inept intervention, national Government little more than a University Big Boys club of those who, in fact, know nothing of real life. The EU is also an utter liability, headed by a group of fools who have zero real life experience (* Merkel etc), and we,the taxpayer in the UK, are forced into spending a fortune on being herded into the continuation series of predictable blunders on every front. ( none of them job creating, few of them in any case national, less of them skilled)
    When is the UK going to waken up to reality. Big investments into EfW have never been supported by the British Government, and in any event are stunted by over regulation within the EU to meet unsustainable environmental regulations not matched by our competitors even within the EU.
    We should be generating thousands of new skilled jobs by brining into action new power technologies based on our already available commodities, including waste, coal and shale gas.
    We should be selling ourselves overseas like never before (recently we have been hopeless at this too – except on stage/ screen). Global poverty / drought / hunger is where all these ‘hard’ technologies are needed in what would at one time have been a naturally ‘British Made’ market, demanding innovation and design/ build skills. That global market is expanding. Europe and Britain is not.
    Without power/ energy at an affordable price to the Customer, new developments cannot be shown to be financially viable, existing businesses cannot afford to continue, manufacturers cant pay the energy bills to beat competition, to keep making investments, to keep paying wages.
    We are too busy ‘doing each others washing’, and it’s certainly not working.
    How much evidence do we all need?

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