PD Ports has signed an agreement with a consultancy firm called Wentworth Clean Power (WCP) to work up plans and try and raise money for a £430m waste-to-energy incinerator. This would have an annual capacity of 250,000 tonnes of specialist feedstocks and an electrical output of up to 18MWe.
This announcement comes two weeks after PD Ports went public on a similar deal with WCP to get a £230m waste-to-energy incinerator out of the ground. [See our previous report here.]
The publicity announcements sound like WCP will lead the development of both projects, despite its absence of any track record. “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,” the press release said.
But accounts filed in August 2020 show that Surrey-based Wentworth Clean Power had zero income last year – its first year of trading – and has assets of just £821. It doesn’t even have a website (‘coming soon’ it says). Chief executive Philip Spanos describes himself on his LinkedIn profile as “Proven in originating, structuring, developing, financing & delivering major energy projects” and “Recognised expert in sustainable energy”.
PD Ports says the money is in place for both projects. “We have secured over £600m 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,” said Frans Calje, chief executive of PD Ports.
Subject to planning approval, he says, this second project will have 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. The site is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2025.
WCP chief executive Philip Spanos 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.”
Local politicians were happy to hear about the project. 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.”
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.”