PD Ports is set to bring a second waste-to-energy plant to the Tees Valley, attracting £430 million of private investment and creating hundreds of new jobs.

The signed agreement with Wentworth Clean Power Limited (WCP), will deliver a second advanced project, also based by Teesport Commerce Park, with an annual capacity of 250,000 tonnes of specialist feedstocks and an electrical output of up to 18MWe – enough to power over 16,000 homes in the region.

The project will also generate usable heat and will offer the potential for direct heat supply to local and planned developments in the area, together with direct electrical supply.

The announcement comes two weeks after PD Ports announced a £230 million deal to bring a waste-to-energy plant to the region, firmly positioning the port operator, and the Tees Valley, at the forefront of the clean energy revolution.

Subject to planning approval, this second project will boast a 30-acre footprint and generate 250-300 full-time jobs during the construction phase and up to 50 further full-time jobs when operational, including highly skilled engineering posts. The site is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2025.

Frans Calje, CEO of PD Ports, said PD Ports is delighted to have secured both projects for the region and explained how the waste-to-energy plants align with the port operator’s decarbonisation agenda.

“This is fantastic news for the whole of the Tees Valley,” said Frans. “We have secured over £600 million of private investment to bring these state of the art facilities to our region that will, in turn, create jobs, boost prosperity and place us at the forefront of the net-zero agenda.

“At PD Ports, we are constantly working to support sustainable practices and reduce our impact on the environment. We are committed to supporting the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda for the North, whilst also seeking to deliver more efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions to aid the target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – these waste-to-energy projects fully support that commitment.”

WCP, developers of advanced and differentiated waste-to-energy projects in the UK, together with its partners, will develop, finance and deliver both projects on Dockside Road.

Philip Spanos, CEO OF WCP, said: “We are delighted to be delivering not one but two highly advanced, sustainable energy and waste management projects to the Tees Valley and look forward to playing our role, alongside PD Ports and local stakeholders, in contributing to the realisation of the immense potential of this region.

“WCP is working with world-class partners to bring these projects to fruition and will seek to engage fully and collaboratively with local stakeholders in all respects.”

The scale and nature of this second investment means that the project is likely to be considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and various works and studies are already underway in advance of a formal planning application being submitted in the second half of next year.

Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Council, Mary Lanigan, said: “This is more good news about potential major investment for our borough and it is testament to the hard work of everyone involved – as well as the fact that Redcar and Cleveland is a fantastic place to invest and do business.

“If approved, this would mean more real, high quality jobs in an industry which has a long-term future involving first-rate companies. It is good news for Redcar and Cleveland and the whole of the Tees Valley.”

The scale of investments brought to the Tees Valley as a result of these two waste-to-energy projects is on par with the £635 million invested in the MGT Power Station which is nearing completion at nearby Teesport.

In 2020 alone, the port operator has unveiled a £9.2 million bulks-handling facility as well as investing £3.36 million in enhancing RoRo facilities at Teesport and £1.35 million in a new pilot vessel to service the River Tees.

Middlesbrough Mayor, Andy Preston, said, “This is absolutely fantastic news for the Middlesbrough area and Tees region generally. PD Ports stands for everything I believe in – a high-quality local employer that’s ambitious, world-class and forward-thinking.

“At a hugely challenging time for business, it’s fantastic that PD Ports has won massive new private investment for our area, creating hundreds of new jobs. Our region was synonymous with the chemical and steel industries but now we can build a reputation as world leaders in a fast-growing sector as we focus increasingly on environmental issues.”

PD Ports has unveiled plans to launch a new innovative digital platform to enhance the national and international competitiveness of the River Tees.

The platform, which aims to promote the strengths of the River Tees and support businesses that rely on the river to trade, is part of the Statutory Harbour Authority’s continued commitment to work with customers and key stakeholders to maximise investment and job opportunities across the region.

The River Tees is the lifeblood of the Tees Valley, providing businesses throughout the North and across the UK with essential access to global markets. As part of the only, continuous net exporting region in goods in the UK, Teesport is the only major port in England that handles more exports than imports. It is therefore a vital asset for achieving the ambitions of the Northern Powerhouse and Government, re-balancing the economy and turbocharging exports to realise the vision of Global Britain.

Frans Calje, PD Ports CEO, explained how the new digital hub is a positive step forward in the Statutory Harbour Authority’s continued commitment to supporting future trade growth, further strengthening Teesport’s position as the UK’s northern gateway for international trade: “Teesport has a proven track record in attracting large-scale inward investment. We want to build on that success and do even more to accelerate and increase opportunity whilst building resilient and sustainable infrastructure to support that growth.

“We are currently working with customers and key partners to develop plans that build on the strengths of the River. The launch of this new digital platform will be a vital tool that will allow fellow river users, potential investors and key stakeholders, to access a wealth of information about the river’s operations, its world-class infrastructure and excellent transport connections. The site will also showcase potential career pathways, promoting job opportunities and apprenticeships.”

Julie Underwood, Executive Director of International Trade at the North East England Chamber of Commerce, praised the sentiment behind the platform’s development and said: “This new digital platform, led by PD Ports, is a great initiative that will truly showcase the businesses along the River Tees and enable greater collaboration for the positive promotion of the river.”

Andy Koss, Head of Sembcorp Energy UK said: “The River Tees continues to offer our customers at Wilton International – and the investors we seek to bring here – a quick and easy route for getting raw materials and finished products in and out of the area, and particularly into Europe.

“It is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the area’s industrial infrastructure and will play a key part in the growth of the Tees Valley for decades to come. That is why developments such as the platform that PD Ports has announced are absolutely key in ensuring that the region remains globally competitive and the transformation of the river continues.”

Nikki Sayer, Commissioner for the Maritime Skills Commission and founder of the North East School of Shipping, has also backed PD Ports’ plans for the digital hub saying: “I am extremely pleased to hear that PD Ports will shortly launch this new site, which will also showcase the fantastic career opportunities available on the River Tees.

“This will be an excellent tool that can be used not only to help raise awareness of the Maritime industry with the young people in the Tees Valley, but to also highlight to potential investors, the commitment this region has to upskilling our future generation.”

Work on the latest phase of Middlesbrough’s cutting edge Boho campus is gaining momentum.

Construction on Boho 8 started earlier this year with the project on target for completion early in 2021.

And this week Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston donned a hard hat for a progress update and a tour of the site.

The £2.3 million project – backed by Local Growth Fund funding from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority – is the latest element of the hugely successful Boho quarter, and is the first development within Middlesbrough’s Digital City project.

The bespoke modular units will provide additional space for rapidly expanding companies in Boho One and Boho 5, as well as attracting new digital and creative businesses to the area.

The four one- to three-storey bespoke designed modular cantilevered buildings range from 1,000 to 3,000 sq ft and will be delivered by main contractor M-AR Off Site, with completion due in winter.

The development to the rear of Boho One will be complemented by modern contemporary external communal space with a high street feel.

Foundations are now in place at the Sussex Street site to accommodate the development’s state-of-the-art modular buildings and steel ‘V’ columns.

Four individual office blocks have been erected consisting of 18 off-site constructed modules installed over a five-day period, with roof works nearing completion.

Staircases have been installed and cladding work is under way, with landscaping work due early in the new year.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “The progress on site is amazing since our last visit – Boho 8 is literally taking shape before our eyes.

“It’s a key step in £250 million of investment that will propel Middlesbrough to become the UK’s number one digital city. 

“These are tough times, but in this digital and creative hotspot we can really see the sort of aspiration and ambition that will shape Middlesbrough’s future prosperity.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s fantastic to see the progress being made on the new Boho 8.

“The creative and digital sectors are key growth sectors and both are playing a huge part in my plan for jobs – a plan that is delivering good-quality, well paid jobs for local people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“We already have some world-class creative businesses right here on our doorstep, from games studios working on the next blockbuster for the likes of Microsoft to firms developing ground-breaking fully immersive VR technologies.

“These hugely successful companies, and many more like them, need modern space in order to grown and create jobs, and that’s exactly what Boho 8 will provide.

“The impact of the coronavirus has been unprecedented, but we are still investing and doing all we can to support existing businesses and protect jobs across the region while also providing the essential infrastructure to grow our economy.”  

M-AR’s Partnerships & Business Development Director Amanda Grimbleby said: “We are proud to be able to deliver this exciting and prestigious project at Boho 8 in collaboration with Middlesbrough Council using ‘Modern Methods of Construction’.

“Whilst we commenced works on site in Middlesbrough in August this year, we also commenced the off-site construction process simultaneously in our lean manufacturing facility, with the 18 lorry loads of 49m2 individual modules completed and quality checked ready for delivery to the site only eight weeks later.

“With project completion targeted this winter, this just demonstrates the speed in which off-site construction can accelerate the delivery of such projects, and this has all been able to happen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The innovative design created by Seymour Architecture will provide light, bright and inspiring office spaces for ambitious and creative digital businesses in the region and being part of making this happen is inspiring in itself.

“I would like to personally thank the forward thinking team at Middlesbrough Council for embracing modern methods of construction.”

Tony Maw, Technical Support Manager with framework provider Consortium Procurement Construction (CPC), said: “To me, it’s all about collaborative working and early engagement with the client and appointed company, to show what our Modular Buildings solution can achieve.

“I think Boho 8 is a great example of this achievement working alongside Middlesbrough Council.”

Engineering specialists Addison Project have unveiled their new north east headquarters at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Park.

And the town’s Mayor Andy Preston dropped by to welcome the latest business to give Middlesbrough its seal of approval.

Addison Project’s expansion to Teesside builds on over two decades as an engineering service provider in Lancashire and Cheshire.

As one of the UK’s leading independent industrial design and project management companies, Addison takes on projects ranging from £5,000 to £50 million.

The company works closely with the local chemical sector and other related businesses, and is also looking to expand its Teesside presence by recruiting locally for future roles.

Addison’s acquisition of the Riverside Park office will see the company occupy 2,000 out of 5,500sq ft, with the remainder let to local businesses.

The Middlesbrough office will be home to up to 20 staff, including engineers and skilled tradespeople, with plans in the pipeline to take on trainees and apprentices.

Kevin Simmonds, Addison Project’s Group Sales and Business Development Manager, said: “Addison have been involved on Teesside for some time, so it was a logical next step to establish a firm base here.

“It will enable us to move some of our local engineers out of their temporary accommodation on client sites, and we’re also hoping to create local job opportunities and attract the right individuals to join us on our exciting journey.

“We’re looking forward to being able to cement our presence in the region and grow alongside the exciting developments taking place across Teesside.”

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Local jobs and investment are right at the top of my agenda, so Addison Project’s move to Middlesbrough is fantastic news for the local economy.

“We have an amazing heritage in engineering and chemicals, so they’re going to fit right in.

“I’m delighted to welcome them to Middlesbrough, and look forward to watching their continued growth and success.”

For more information on Addison Project, email Addison Project at enquiries@addisonproject.co.uk  or call the Middlesbrough office on 01642 694000.

Middlesbrough is to benefit from an investment of over £42m as part of CityFibre’s plans to help replace the UK’s legacy copper networks with gigabit-capable full fibre optic connectivity.

The state-of-the-art infrastructure is forecast to boost business productivity and innovation, deliver millions of pounds in economic benefits for Middlesbrough and help the region to recover from the economic downturn – while giving residents and businesses access to the UK’s fastest broadband services of up to 1,000 megabytes per second.

Detailed planning is already underway as CityFibre designs a network capable of serving Middlesbrough’s current and future demands. Upon completion, the network will be in reach of nearly every home and business in the area, providing a platform for a new generation of “smart city” applications and the roll-out of 5G mobile services.

Jason Legget, as City Manager at CityFibre, will spearhead delivery of the Middlesbrough project, which is due to commence in December. As commercial lead for CityFibre in the region, Jason will be the main contact for all the town’s stakeholders and a key advocate of the wide-ranging benefits that a full fibre network will bring.

Jason said: “Our network build is already progressing well in Newcastle, so it’s exciting to now look to our £42m Middlesbrough Full Fibre investment. We are working in close partnership with Middlesbrough Council to transform the town’s digital infrastructure, ensuring that the digital needs of those working and living in the town are met now, and in the future.”

MAP Group (UK) is constructing the network on behalf of CityFibre. The company, based in Stockton-on-Tees, will use modern build techniques, including, where possible, utilising existing underground and overground infrastructure to ensure a fast and successful roll-out. Their teams are following social distancing protocols to ensure their own safety, as well as that of the general public.

Mike Carlin, CEO at MAP Group (UK) said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and CityFibre’s commitment to delivering the latest in full fibre technology to the town of Middlesbrough is both commendable and exciting. The scheme, along with similar projects across the UK, will transform communities – gearing them up for the future of connectivity in order to attract businesses, visitors and improve the lives of residents.”

CityFibre will be engaging with Middlesbrough Council and local communities to ensure a fast and successful roll-out. Ward Councillors will be briefed on plans for the local community and residents are being kept informed by door-to-door teams and mailings ahead of works commencing in their streets.

The network is not yet live but once activated, services will be available from an increasing range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to deliver next generation broadband services.

Welcoming the announcement, Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston added: “Despite Covid, aspects of Middlesbrough are booming, and in 18 months’ time the incredible broadband speeds that CityFibre is bringing will help us to create more business and more jobs.

“We welcome CityFibre’s investment in our town as it furthers our aim of providing a future-proofed full fibre digital infrastructure and a greater choice for the people of Middlesbrough.

“Fantastic.”

Teesport, the fifth largest port in the UK, has welcomed the first arrival of a new Containerships service, the BALT VI, from Eastern Europe.

The service from Klaipeda, Lithuania, launched in October and provides additional capacity for shippers moving containerised cargo into the UK with just a four-day turnaround between the Baltics and Teesport.

Geoff Lippitt, Chief Commercial Officer at PD Ports, said, “We’re delighted that Containerships have selected Teesport as the port of call for the new BALT VI route from the Baltics.

“The addition of yet another service to our sailing schedule further demonstrates the strength of the multimodal services we offer at PD Ports and highlights continued confidence in the Tees Valley to deliver on international trade opportunities.”

The service, which will arrive in Teesport each Monday after departing Klaipeda the previous Friday, provides an extra weekly capacity of 280 units; something which Containerships believes evidences its commitment to providing flexible solutions for customers.

“The launch of an additional route between the Baltic regions and the UK is further evidence of Containerships’ commitment to providing great customer service and flexibility, said Rob Waterman, CEO at Containerships.

“Using Teesport is affirmation of the outstanding reliability of the service they provide and will allow us to ensure swift transportation of cargo from Eastern Europe into the UK using extensive multimodal services.”

Handling an average of 28 million tonnes per year, Teesport contributes in excess of £1.4billion to the UK economy annually and supports over 22,000 jobs in the wider supply chain.

PD Ports, owner of Teesport and legal guardians of the River Tees, has welcomed the arrival of a new £1.35 million pilot vessel, Stainsby, to its fleet.

Mia MacDonald, who has recently finished her apprenticeship at PD Ports and is now a qualified Hydrographic Surveyor, officially christened the vessel in a small, socially distanced ceremony held on Wednesday.

Affectionately named Stainsby after one of the original four villages that later became Middlesbrough, the vessel will facilitate the safe transportation of pilots to and from vessels as they enter the river.

The state-of-the-art Stainsby will replace the Coatham pilot vessel, who will now find a new home at the Port of Tyne after racking up an impressive 800,000 miles servicing the River Tees over a 20-year period.

PD Ports CEO, Frans Calje, said, “As the legal guardians for the River Tees our primary job is ensuring safe navigation for vessels. It is our duty to ensure the river is managed safely and effectively when fulfilling its potential to support future trade growth across the Tees Valley and the UK as a whole.

“Together with fellow businesses along the river, Teesport already contributes in excess of £1.4 billion to the economy each year. This investment will enable Teesport to continue servicing the river and the region as we secure the Tees Valley in pole position for international trade growth opportunities.”

At the forefront of tackling climate change, the Stainsby, which can travel at speeds of up to 24knots, also boasts a low emission engine to help keep fuel consumption and environmental impact as low as possible.

The vessel also features touch screen navigation and dynamic shock monitoring that will ensure safety of the crew in all weather conditions meaning that the Port, and the river, can remain operational at all times.

Paul Brooks, Harbour Master, said, “The arrival of the Stainsby means that we have the best technology, built to the highest engineering standards, which will provide a safe and stable platform for pilots and keep Teesport open for business.

“The pilot vessels, alongside our dedicated crew, are instrumental in keeping the Port operating 24/7, 365 days a year, no matter what challenging conditions we are faced with.”

In its role as the Statutory Harbour Authority, PD Ports is responsible for the safe navigation of vessels, maintenance and management of the river.

The port operator is one of the largest employers in the region, attracting over £1 billion of investment and creating 2,500 direct jobs in the past decade.

Firstsource – the latest tenants in one of the region’s most ambitious regeneration projects – will expand its presence and strengthen its commitment to Middlesbrough, ultimately creating over 100 new jobs.

The leading business process management services firm will take three floors of the striking One Centre Square Building in the latest of a series of announcements for the prestige development.

The 10-year deal – with a possible tenant break after five years – will see Firstsource occupy 40,000 of the building’s 60,000 sq ft as part of an overall development of 210,000 sq ft.

Welcoming the announcement, Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “This is fantastic news and a real shot in the arm for the local economy.

“We’re delivering some of the best office space in the whole of the north, and it’s great to see companies like Firstsource recognising the potential here in Middlesbrough.

“They’re making a major investment in the town, and that’s creating jobs and prosperity that will pay dividends for years to come.

“This is a key part of the boundless ambition we have for Middlesbrough, and we’ll be making more announcements over the coming weeks and months.”

Commenting on the news, Simon Hunter, VP Operations Firstsource, said “We’re excited to open our new offices in One Centre Square Building and expand our ability to provide outstanding, multi-channel customer service for a range of industries from banking to healthcare.

“We already have a fantastic team in Middlesbrough and are looking forward to growing our workforce.

“We provide customer service for our clients, and we’ve a range of programmes to welcome and train new hires, and support them develop their career at Firstsource.”

The expansion has been made possible thanks in part to funding provided by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Firstsource is the latest brilliant business that we’re helping to grow in the Tees Valley thanks to our funding. 

“These investments are driving real change and creating jobs for our local people, at a time when they are needed the most.

“By expanding their base right here the firm, which works with leading household names, is showing you don’t need to go anywhere else in the North for top-quality office space and an eager workforce.”

The Centre Square development – led by Middlesbrough Council in partnership with developer Ashall Projects – has seen the demolition of the former Register Office to make way for state-of-the-art Grade A office space.

The first two buildings were completed last year, and negotiations are ongoing with a number of other major employers looking to relocate, and bring new jobs and investment to the town.

Mark Ashall, director of Ashall Projects, said he was delighted that Firstsource had decided to relocate to One Centre Square: “A letting of this size, the largest single office letting in Middlesbrough for 25 years, to a quality company like Firstsource demonstrates the range of advantages offered by Centre Square’s Grade A space coupled with its location is very attractive to employers and their staff.

“Centre Square and Middlesbrough are now established as a major office location with all the benefits that this will bring to the local economy.”

Sulzer Chemtech is expanding its Tower Field Services (TFS) capabilities by moving into a new unit on Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAMP) following an increase in demand.

The new facility will allow Sulzer to strengthen its column and tower services offering, including its automated weld overlay capabilities for manufacturing and processing facilities, including waste to energy power plants.

Graham Glen, head of TFS – ERA at Sulzer, commented: “We are thrilled to be moving into the new premises in TeesAMP.

“Sulzer is committed to providing its customers with advanced technologies and services.

“In particular, we are ready to support them as the needs of their manufacturing and processing plants evolve and grow.

“We are well prepared for the future and this new facility will strengthen our position as a leading partner for the maintenance as well as optimization of distillation towers, processing equipment and power plants.”

To discuss remaining units, please speak to one of TeesAMP’s agents:

Stephen Brown: s.brown@doddsbrown.co.uk

Richard Scott: richard.scott@cushwake.com

A Middlesbrough-based end point assessment organisation (EPAO), launched in 2020, has found its supportive online approach has been a hit with training providers across the UK as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact normality in the sector.

1st for EPA is an EPAO that supports apprentices through EPA by working collaboratively with training providers and employers to reduce costs, improve achievement rates and grow. The company provides guidance on how to approach EPA, supporting apprentices to prepare for their assessment and increasing their chance of passing first time. The admin burden on providers is greatly reduced with the ACE360 portal, which allows online scheduling of EPA and links directly to apprenticeship management systems.

1st for EPA, which has worked with colleges and training providers throughout England, has had great feedback since its launch in March 2020.

Peter Lang, Head of School at Croydon College, said: “Undoubtedly this year has been an unusual one and more than ever confidence in our providers is crucial. We at Croydon College are very pleased to work with 1st for EPA. The tools, support and ease of registering apprentices has been excellent, giving us the apprenticeship provider real confidence in the delivery and end point assessment process.”

Paul Drew, Managing Director at Apprentify, said: “Despite the challenges 2020 has presented, our apprentices are going into their assessment feeling more confident and it’s great to see. 1st for EPA identifies areas that apprentices typically struggle with and tackle them head-on. We’re sure our retention rates will improve as a result of working with 1st for EPA.”

1st for EPA’s Managing Director, Helen Shinner, said: “2020 has been such a tough year for everyone, so we’re glad to be doing what we can to support providers and apprentices. Launching during a pandemic means we have had to work hard to prove the benefits of our approach and it’s certainly been well received.

“From our experience in the industry we know that to get the best from apprentices they need to feel confident and ready to give their best. To support apprentices, we produce guidance on how to prepare for EPA, sharing tips and best practice. Our remote assessment allows us to keep prices competitive and pass savings onto providers. We’ve seen huge growth already and are looking forward to working with more providers and employers in 2021.”

1st for EPA assesses a range of apprenticeship standards, including Business Administrator, Digital Marketer, Marketing Manager, Marketing Executive, Marketing Assistant, HR Consultant and Partner and HR Support.