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North East employer The Banks Group has called in NOF, the business development specialists for the energy sector, to help it enhance its regional supply chain for a planned £3.5m Teesside energy project.
The family-owned firm is looking to develop a Flexible Energy Park on the Bowesfield Crescent Industrial Estate in Stockton-on-Tees, which will include a natural gas/hydrogen “peaker plant” and an electricity storage battery as well as ancillary infrastructure.
Banks has a longstanding policy of choosing local suppliers and contractors wherever possible across all its projects and will now work with NOF to help build a predominately local supply chain of experienced companies for the Bowesfield scheme.
If the Bowesfield project receives planning permission and the project proceeds, contract opportunities will cover building and civil works including road surfacing, drainage and the supply of concrete, aggregates and other building materials, while opportunities to provide support services such as plant and cabin hire, security, cleaning and hotel accommodation will also be available.
Peaker plants play a vital role in balancing the national grid, ensuring it can handle more intermittent energy generation from renewable sources, and run on gas and/or hydrogen.
The peaker plant will initially run on natural gas, but once it eventually becomes available at scale and is cost-effective to use, Banks is aiming to use either blended or even pure hydrogen.
NOF has a portfolio of 26 strategic partners, made up of operators, developers and tier one contractors from across the energy sectors.
The Durham-based organisation works closely with its strategic partners to give them access to its members, which is made up by innovative, technology-led supply chain companies.
This will include a series of events to share knowledge between NOF members and The Banks Group, and to highlight the supply chain opportunities the development of the energy park will generate.
Joanne Leng MBE, Deputy Chief Executive, NOF, said: “We’re really pleased to welcome The Banks Group as our latest strategic partner to assist the company with its plans for the Bowesfield Flexible Energy Park.
“Our membership contains some highly experienced companies that will be able to support the development and operation of the energy park, which will be a key component of the journey to a low carbon economy.
“Battery storage is integral to ensuring a balanced supply of renewable electricity and this plant will also, in due course, benefit from Teesside’s green hydrogen generation, which will make it an even more sustainable facility.”
Mark Rowcroft, energy development manager at The Banks Group, said: “Working in partnership with NOF is the ideal way to tap into the local expertise and innovation that exists in the North East’s energy sector supply chain.
“NOF’s understanding of our supply chain objectives will help us utilise local skills and experience for our Bowesfield Flexible Energy Park and support sustainable employment in the region.”