Teesside in transition: “Ripe for regeneration”
There is something inspiring about seeing a period of reinvention and renewal in a place you care deeply about.
One such place, for Andy Hill, an appraisal manager for Offshore Wind in bp, is Teesside, where he was born. Although he moved to follow his father’s career in the steel industry from Teesside to Northamptonshire (Corby) when he was young, he has a strong affinity with Teesside.
Whether it was following the fortunes of Middlesbrough FC with his dad or seeing his extended family that still lives in the area – the connections remain strong.
He’s watched on as the region has gone through no shortage of tough times, particularly as the manufacturing and heavy industries of old went into decline.
Yet despite that turbulence there still remains a cluster of hard-to-abate industries, which account for 5.6% of the UK’s total industrial emissions. For some time though the future of those industries looked uncertain, as the businesses explored how to manage looming emissions targets.
These days though there’s more cause for optimism. Andy can see the industrial identity of Teesside transforming and is hopeful for what this could mean for his family and the hardworking community he grew up admiring.
A lot of that change has come as Teesside is strategically placed to become the heartland for the UK’s energy transformation, with all the skills and experience to deliver on its promise.
bp also has a role to play, in leading the Net Zero Teesside project, which aims to create the UK’s first zero carbon industrial hub using Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS). It could capture up to six million tonnes of co2 emissions each year – equivalent to the annual energy use of up to two million homes in the UK.
It also plans to build H2Teesside, a world-scale hydrogen project that aims to produce 1GW of CCUS-enabled blue hydrogen – 10% of the UK Government’s 2030 target.
And HyGreen Teesside, which aims to be one of the biggest ‘green’ hydrogen facilities in the UK, targeting 60MWe of ‘green’ hydrogen production by 2025. It could deliver up to 5% of the UK Government’s hydrogen target of 10GW by 2030 and fuel the development of Teesside into the UK’s first major hydrogen transport hub.
As someone with 30 years of experience of major oil and gas projects and in recent years made his own transition into green energy, managing the technical aspects of future offshore wind projects, Andy also knows what it takes to undertake projects of this magnitude.
He’s also excited to see the opportunities the projects will create, through the whole value chain with bp becoming an Integrated Energy Company, helping to solve the trilemma of producing affordable, secure and lower carbon energy.
All of the projects will require skilled engineers and construction workers, and bp is investing in upskilling the community to ensure locals’ benefit. One such programme is its investment in the Redcar and Cleveland Clean Energy Education hub, which will play a crucial role in supporting the Tees Valley’s green economy. There are many more.
Our purpose is reimagining energy for people and our planet. We want to help the world reach net zero and improve people’s lives