Industrial giant Siemens has announced a £310m investment in a wind turbine manufacturing facility which will create 1,000 new jobs in the UK.
This announcement is a major boost the offshore wind industry in the UK and will increase the economic benefit to the UK of renewable energy development policies.
Siemens will manufacture its wind turbine across two UK sites.
One will be Green Port Hull, which Siemens has had intentions to develop for some years. This site will support construction, assembly and servicing of turbines.
A new rotor blade manufacturing facility will also open in Paull in the east of Yorkshire.
Siemens will front £160m for investment in these facilities while its port partner, Associated British Ports (ABP), will provide a further £150m for the Green Port Hull development.
The combined investments of £310m will create up to 1,000 direct jobs and further job growth is expected in the supply chain.
The new rotor blade facility will take on production of Siemens’ latest turbine blade technology with each blade spanning 75 metres.
Complementing the UK on its business friendly environment for manufacturing Michael Suess, a member of the managing board of Siemens and chief executive of energy sector at the company, 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.”
Mr Suess continued to say that British energy policy has created 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,” he said.
Suess spoke of the high growth rate of the offshore wind market in the UK and expressed confidence that this would continue. “Wind power capacity has doubled here within two years, to roughly 10 gigawatts. By 2020, a capacity of 14 gigawatts is to be installed at sea alone to combine the country’s environmental objectives with secure power supply. Projects for just over 40 gigawatts are currently in the long-term planning,” he observed.
Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed Siemens’ decision enthusiastically. “This investment is going to create lots of new jobs and opportunities, meaning more financial security and peace of mind for families and a more resilient economy for our country,” he said.
He also called the investment “a massive vote of confidence,” in the UK economy.
Energy secretary Ed Davey also welcomed the deal for its capacity to reduce UK reliance on foreign imports.
“This deal shows our strategy for offshore wind is working; bringing investment, green jobs and growth, and helping keep Britain the number one country in the world for offshore wind,” summed up.
Siemens employs about 13,700 workers in the UK, including 4,000 in the energy sector.