Up to 1,000 jobs are to be created in Northeast England following the decision by Siemens to investment over €190m in a new offshore production plant in Hull.
The facility will produce rotor blades for wind turbines rated at 6MW, with a new logistics and service centre planned for also for the area.
In a statement, Michael Suess, CEO of Siemens Energy said: ‘Our decision to construct a production facility for offshore wind turbines in England is part of our global strategy: we invest in markets with reliable conditions that can ensure that factories can work to capacity.
‘The British energy policy creates a favourable framework for the expansion of offshore wind energy. In particular, it recognises the potential of offshore wind energy within the overall portfolio of energy production.
‘The offshore wind market in Great Britain has high growth rates, with an even greater potential for the future. Wind power capacity has doubled here within two years, to roughly 10GW. By 2020, a capacity of 14GW is to be installed at sea alone to combine the country’s environmental objectives with secure power supply. Projects for just over 40GW currently in the long-term planning.
Siemens and Associated British Ports (ABP) will be investing a total of €371m at the project sites, which are set to create 1,000 jobs, with 550 of these in rotor blade production and 450 in Green Port Hull. Other jobs will follow in the construction industry and supply industry.
Benj Sykes, UK country manager at DONG Energy Wind Power commented: ’This is great news for the UK and a huge boost for the offshore wind industry in this country. Today’s announcement is testament to the capabilities on offer in the UK and demonstrates the huge opportunity to develop a thriving supply chain for the offshore wind sector. We are pleased with Siemens’ decision and hope it will act as a catalyst for a growing supply chain in the UK, encouraging others to invest in manufacturing here.’
In January 2011 Siemens and ABP signed a Memorandum of Understanding in connection with ABP’s proposed Green Port Hull development at Alexandra Dock.
Green Port Hull is scheduled to begin operations at the beginning of 2016, with rotor production likely for the summer of 2016. Siemens believes the factory will reach full capacity by mid-2017.
UK offshore wind market
- The UK remains the largest offshore wind market globally, with an installed operational wind capacity of 3.7 GW (56 per cent of installed capacity in EU).
- In terms of the number of wind turbines installed in Europe, the UK is leading with 1,082 (52 per cent).
- UK offshore wind farms provide around 8 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to supply six per cent (around 1.55 million) of all the homes in the UK.
- Europe-wide, 47 per cent of all new capacity was installed in the UK (733 MW).
- Since December 2000 when the first wind turbines were commissioned off the UK coast at Blyth, 1,065 offshore wind turbines have been erected. All blades installed on offshore turbines in the UK laid end to end would stretch out to 195km