Siemens and Associated British Ports submitted plans for the development of a £210m wind turbine factory expected to create 700 jobs in Hull.
This was deemed a “significant milestone” as Siemens and ABP jointly applied to the city council to develop the Green Port Hull initiative on a 100-hectare site at Alexandra Dock, set to open in 2014.
The facility will be able to service three of the country’s largest offshore wind farms and will contribute to the government’s plans to secure 18 gigawatts of wind capacity over the next ten years. To reach this target, 1,000 turbines will need to be built every year in the run-up to 2020.
Dan McGrail, project manager at Siemens, commented: “We are very pleased that another significant milestone in the project has been achieved, and we look forward to discussing plans further with the local community during the consultation process.”
Siemens and APB are seeking consent for detailed plans including the construction of the factory itself. Projects for the docks include facilities for storage, handling and assembly and testing of wind turbines, as well as a helicopter landing site. A six-megawatt wind turbine will supply power to the site and 6,000 homes.
Siemens is investing £80m, while ABP is funding the part of the project related to port infrastructure with £130m.
Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK’s chief executive, said: “The wind industry is already employing more than 10,000 people full time – that’s set to rise to nearly ninety thousand over the next 10 years, not only in the industry itself but also in the supply chain, with components manufacturers supplying this fast-growing sector.”
The Green Port Hull development is expected to pave the way for more investment in the area’s growing renewable energy sector. Sam Pick, business development director of the Humber-based Renewables Network, told the Guardian newspaper: “This is not just a new opportunity for Siemens, but rather an opportunity for local businesses across the Humber area. A supply chain, both directly and indirectly, supporting the operation of the offshore wind farms is needed and thousands of jobs can be created. Once operational, this investment will establish the area as the world’s leading location for marine renewables.”
RenewableUK noted the news came after wind turbine tower manufacturer Mabey Bridge announced that it is creating 45 new jobs in Chepstow while moving to 24-hour operations to respond to increasing demand.
Construction of the site is expected to start in summer 2012 immediately after the approval.