A £500m biomass plant has been backed by the Government and looks likely to be the UK's first fully operational centre.
The Tees Renewable Energy Plant, located at Teesport and being developed by British company MGT Power, was last week approved under the Electricity Act.
The plant, which is pencilled in to be operational by 2012, could generate enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 600,000 homes and will be one of the largest-ever biomass plants to be built in the world.
Director of MGT Power, Chris Moore, said: "The Government's consent is welcome news as we are at an advanced stage with forestry establishment for fuel sourcing, and power plant procurement.
"We can now mandate our banks, conclude the financing and reach agreement with our preferred technology bidders.
"We are moving towards an early construction start with a high degree of confidence."
"Other similarly sized biomass plants are proposed in other parts of the country but our Teesport project is currently two years ahead of the pack and likely to be one of the first to be operational."
The plant will also create 600 jobs during the three year construction period, 150 permanent jobs during the station's lifetime and, once operating, will contribute about £30m a year to the north east's economy, supporting a further 300-400 jobs indirectly.
It will also save 1.2m tonnes of CO2 per year and will account for 5.5% of the UK's renewable electricity target.
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