Business and energy secretary Greg Clark has awarded a development consent order to Sembcorp Utilities for the construction of a 1.7GW combined-cycle gas turbine plant in Teesside.

The facility will be built on the site of a decommissioned 1,875MW gas power station at the Wilton International industrial complex and will reuse the existing gas and electricity network connections.

The application was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in November 2017 and accepted for examination a month later. Following a public consultation, the authority recommended Clark approve the scheme in January 2019.

Sembcorp said it will now consider the business case for the project “in the light of the rapidly changing UK energy market” before making a final investment decision in the coming months.

Nomi Ahmad, the company’s UK head of energy, added: “This is a major step forward in our development plans that if sanctioned could see hundreds of jobs created and sustained and millions of pounds invested in the UK.”

Sembcorp Utilities already operates 210MW of combined heat and power generation at the Wilton International site alongside a biomass plant and an energy-from-waste plant. Last year its parent company, Sembcorp Industries, agreed to buy UK Power Reserve from Inflexion and Equiston for £216 million.