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Green light for Teeside gas plant

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The UK Planning Inspectorate has given permission for a 1,700MW gas-turbine plant at the 800ha Wilton site in Teeside.  

The plant is being developed by Sembcorp Utilities, part of a Singapore-based energy development group Sembcorp Industries Group.  

The proposal is to build a combined-cycle gas turbine plant at the Wilton International manufacturing site. The site was previously home to a 1,800MW plant that provided steam for manufacturing facilities on the site.  

Sembcorp filed their planning application in 2017 and was put forward to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark earlier this year. 

A planning application to upgrade the older site was ultimately “mothballed […] because of its inability to compete with more efficient power stations” and the old plant was subsequently decommissioned and demolished between 2013 and 2015. 

Because of the old plant, the infrastructure to supply power to the various site operators at Wilton is already in place, but for public use new national grid connections will need to be constructed. If connected to the grid the plant could power 1.5M homes.  

The new plant will be constructed over three years, creating 1,000 construction jobs and 80 permanent jobs to operate the plant.  

Planning Inspectorate chief executive Sarah Richards said: “The Planning Inspectorate has again demonstrated its ability to examine nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) within timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008. 

“This provides developers and investors with the confidence to build and improve the infrastructure this country needs to secure future economic growth. 

Sembcorp were approached for comment and claim on their website the plant will play “a significant role in the battle to secure the UK’s energy future.”  

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