US-based Air Products drops Teeside waste to energy plants

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Teeside renewable energy plants will no longer be developed by Air Products

The US-Based Air Products & Chemicals corporation is an internationally operating company which sells gas and chemicals to the industrial industry. In 2012, the Pennsylvania firm announced its intention to build the world’s largest “waste to energy” plant in Teeside, north east England.

Following the announcement, construction work began on Air Products’ 49MW Tees Valley 1 (TV1) plant, the most advanced plasma gasification renewable energy facility in the world.

This was followed closely by the announcement of a second renewable energy plant, Tees Valley 2 (TV2), which was to be constructed nearby.

Air Products drops Teeside waste plants

Air Products chemistry plant in Kent

The US firm claimed the two plants would create enough energy to power 100,000 homes in the north east of England, helping to reduce waste to landfill rates and saving more than £80m for the UK government, who had signed a energy supplier contract with the company.

In November last year, Air Products halted construction work on its TV2 renewable energy plant, resulting in the loss of 700 jobs. The company stated technological issues at TV1 as the reason for the halt.

However, construction work has never since resumed and Air Products has now announced it will not be continuing with the two £300 million “waste to energy” plants. The company is set to lose $1bn because of its decision, but its claims that the facilities are not financially viable.

The announcement has come at a difficult time for the north east of England, which has recently suffered a host of economical set backs. More that 3,000 steel industry jobs have been lost in the area, with yet more cast into uncertainty since Tata Steel announced the closure of its UK businesses.

Seifi Ghasemi, chairman, president and CEO of Air Products, said: “We appreciate the hard work of our employees and contractors at the site, and certainly understand their disappointment in this decision. We are also disappointed with the outcome.”

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