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Plans for huge gasification plant get approval

Gas specialist Air Products has secured planning permission to build its 300,000 tonne capacity gasification facility near Billingham, Teesside.

Stockton on Tees Borough Council has agreed plans for Air Products to build its Tees Valley Renewable Energy Facility at the New Energy and Technology Business Park. The plant, which is one of the largest gasification projects planned for the UK, will convert non-recyclable household and commercial waste into around 49MW of electricity.

It is the first of five gasification facilities planned by Air Products and its technology partner AlterNRG, equalling more than £1bn investment with the potential to generate around 250 MW of electricity.

Air Products European Hydrogen and Bioenergy director Ian Williamson said: “The UK is seeking more sustainable ways to manage and dispose of its waste, and is looking to diversify its sources of electricity generation: our technology is able to deliver on both counts.

“In the longer-term, our technology can also produce renewable hydrogen and is being considered for a demonstration of Waste2Tricity’s fuel cell technology.  So our renewable energy facility could also play a part in the further development of the hydrogen economy, an area in which Air Products already has considerable experience.”

Energy and Climate Change minister Greg Barker welcomed the news. He added: “Energy from waste leads to considerable reductions in waste going into landfill, and makes an important contribution to the UK’s low-carbon energy supply.”

Subject to project financing and Environment Agency approval, the construction of the plant could begin next year, ready to start operating in 2014.

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