Commenting on the news that Air Products, currently building two energy from waste plants on Teesside, are getting out of the business altogether, Stockton North Labour MP Alex Cunningham said:
“This is yet more devastating news for Teesside coming on the tail of thousands of other lost jobs in the area in steel, construction, metal and related industries in recent months. Hundreds of people have been laid off from the construction work and 100 permanent jobs are now also in jeopardy.
“I was well aware that Air Products were struggling to get their newly developed technology working and had paused work on the second plant until they sorted out the first one.
“Now it appears they are prepared to walk away. The company have questions to answer but refused to discuss the options with me as they felt constrained by American Securities and Exchange Commission rules.
“People on Teesside need to know whether the incomplete plants have a future, if they will be sold or there is some other options for them. Just a few weeks ago the trade unions told me they heard the plants were being mothballed – the company denied that at the time and today told me they decision to get out of the energy from waste business was made just last week.
“I will also be raising the issue in Parliament when it returns next week. The Government also have questions to answer. The then Secretary of State at the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude signed a contract with Air Products two years ago to buy the electricity it generated.
“The Government needs to explain why it signed an exclusive contract to buy electricity generated by unproven technologies and exactly how they propose to fill the gap in their energy needs as these plants are extremely unlikely to come on stream on time – the big question is, will they in the future?”