Communities Minister praises Hull's commitment to green energy
PIONEERING technology at a Hull power plant will help shape the way people think about energy throughout the UK, according to the Communities Minister.
Baroness Hanham CBE yesterday visited the site of Spencer Group's £100m-plus Energy Works scheme, which is to be constructed on the former ADM Cocoa site off Cleveland Street.
The energy recovery plant will use a combination of green technologies to transform treated household waste into energy, and will be the first of its kind in the UK.
During her visit, the minister confirmed the development had been awarded a £19.9m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is one of the largest grants to be awarded in the country.
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She said: "This is a really important development, not just for Hull but for the UK as a whole.
"The Government is looking at ways of having an uncontaminated source of clean energy. This is a perfect example of that.
"The whole concept and design is really exciting. It will have an impact on the way we view technology and how it can be used to create cleaner, green energy in the future. It is also going to bring extra strength to this area of the city and provide employment opportunities, which are vital.
"I am delighted to be able to give the scheme one of the largest grants we have ever distributed through ERDF."
Energy Works will produce enough electricity to power 25,000 homes and could slash the amount of waste sent to landfill by local authorities by 90 per cent.
The facility, which will employ 60 people, will be built to sort, pre-treat and process different types of waste.
Spencer Group chief executive and founder Charlie Spencer said: "We are delighted the Government and the European Commission have recognised that Energy Works is an innovative, green and clean development, which can be replicated elsewhere.
"This grant is a key element of the funding model and enables the project to move forward. As a Hull company, we are intensely proud that we will be pioneering a UK first in the city and that our investment will add to the Humber region's credentials as the UK hub for renewable energy technologies."
After touring the site, the minister headed to the Marfleet Environmental Industries Park – a development that has already benefited from ERDF money.
The business park, which has been developed by Warmsale on the former Humbrol factory site, received £4.7m of ERDF cash and its first tenants, Nippon Gohsei and Neill & Brown Global Logistics, have been operating there since 2011.
Earlier this year, the park welcomed new companies Middlegate Europe and Perpetum Sun.
Start-up units that will provide growing companies with the room to expand have now been completed at the front of the site.