North East Chamber Summit Talks Net Zero Potential
More than 100 North East business leaders heard firsthand from a global energy company about the region’s enormous potential to develop excellence in a low-carbon economy.
The guest speaker at the North East England Chamber of Commerce Business Summit, held at Teesside International Airport, was Louise Kingham, Senior Vice President, bp Europe and UK Country Head. United. She set out in no uncertain terms the UK’s switch from traditional energy sources to low-carbon energy sources, but also highlighted the opportunity it presented.
The global energy company is developing a number of low-carbon projects in the region, including leading a consortium of energy companies on the multi-million pound Net Zero Teesside Power program at Teesworks, a joint venture with Equinor which will build a central gas-fired power plant with carbon capture, utilization and storage capabilities. He also announced plans for H2Teesside, a blue hydrogen production facility, and HyGreen Teesside, a green hydrogen facility, which would be based in the area.
Read more: ADNOC and Masdar support bp’s hydrogen plants in Teesside
Louise said: “Working with our stakeholders, including Chamber Member Equinor, our Net Zero Teesside Power project alone would provide electricity to over 1.3 million homes. More broadly, our projects have attracted substantial foreign investment in the North East, including through recently announced partnerships with ADNOC – Abu Dhabi’s national oil and gas company – and Masdar. This region was at the heart of the first industrial revolution and it is today called to be at the heart of the energy transition revolution.
As well as outlining individual investment programs, Louise Kingham also highlighted employment opportunities for local people, including in the construction phase and supply chain. bp has plans in place to help communities get trained to be ready for jobs in this clean energy sector.
Guests also heard an update on the Teesside Freeport. Director Nolan Gray explained the important role he can play in helping level the region with the rest of the country.
He also outlined all the opportunities available at the 4,500-acre Freeport, made up of tax and customs areas at sites across the Tees Valley. It is expected to create 18,000 jobs and inject billions into the economy over five years.
Chamber Chief Executive John McCabe said: “This business summit has set out such a clear vision for the North East and our energy sector. We have learned so many opportunities to grow our regional businesses, right on our doorstep, through cutting-edge thinking and technology. There’s masses of potential here and it’s fantastic that we’re now on the verge of unlocking it on a truly once-in-a-lifetime scale.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Everyone at the airport was delighted to welcome the Chamber and such a prestigious event to Teesside Airport, bringing together some of the greatest business leaders in the region to learn about all the opportunities available in our region and some of the transformational projects we are pushing forward.
The Business Summit was sponsored by Intuit and also supported by Learning Curve and Teesside International Airport.
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