Energy majors BP and Equinor have signed an agreement to lease a 100-acre site for a power plant powered by gas fire at the Teesworks freeport. This is after having a clause inserted to provide legal assurance that all assets for the new site had been gained in an acceptable manner.
The Teesworks site is located by the River Tees and includes thousands of acres of former industrialised land that requires remediation work before it can be used. At present, the site is being decontaminated and having any industrial waste cleared away at an estimated cost of £120,000 in public money for every acre.
Some concerns had been raised about a development company potentially buying the decontaminated land at a nominal cost before leasing it to companies investing in the freeport. Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Ben Houchen, who is Tees Valley Mayor and in charge of the Teeswork project, said that the developers had to cover the full remediation costs when purchasing a package of land, as well as pay interest on that amount. He said about BP and Equinor’s participation:
“As well as the clause, BP and Equinor wanted assurances, given the noise they were hearing. We were able to provide those assurances and they signed the deal last week. Now they’re investing north of £1.5bn on this site.”
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