Two new ports will be constructed on the Humber and on Teesside to build the next generation of offshore wind projects as part of an up to £95M investment to boost the UK’s offshore wind industry and create 6,000 new jobs in the north, the government has announced
Able Marine Energy Park, on the South Bank of the River Humber, will receive up to £75M (US$104M) in government investment, and Teesworks Offshore Manufacturing Centre, on the River Tees, will benefit from up to £20M. Construction will begin later this year to upgrade the two ports with new infrastructure, helping to revitalise these historic industrial heartlands.
Together, the new ports will have the capacity to house up to seven manufacturers to support the development of the next-generation offshore wind projects, substantially boosting the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing base while directly creating around 3,000 new jobs each.
The first offshore wind manufacturer to invest in the Teesside port has also been confirmed by the government, with GE Renewable Energy building a blade manufacturing factory at the site.
Due to open and start production in 2023, the blades produced by GE Renewables will be supplied to the Dogger Bank windfarm off the northeast coast of England, which when completed in 2026 will be the largest offshore windfarm in the world.
The announcements are part of the delivery of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution and meeting his target to quadruple the UK’s offshore wind capacity to 40 GW by 2030.
The Prime Minister said, “During the Industrial Revolution more than 200 years ago, wind powered the sails of ships from the Humber and Teesside trading goods around the world.
“Now the Humber and Teesside will put the wind in the sails of our new green industrial revolution, building the next generation of offshore wind turbines whilst creating 6,000 new green jobs in the process.
“Our multi-million-pound investment in these historic coastal communities is a major step towards producing the clean, cheap energy we need to power our homes and economy without damaging the environment.”
The government funding will be provided through a £160M investment to upgrade port infrastructure and support manufacturing announced by the Prime Minister in October 2020. Once complete, the new ports will have the capacity to support the development of up to 9 GW of offshore wind projects each year. Businesses – including smaller suppliers – across the UK will be well-placed to win contracts and attract further investment from energy companies around the world, increasing their competitive standing on the global stage.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said, “The offshore wind sector is a major British industrial success story, providing cheap, green electricity while supporting thousands of good-quality jobs. While the UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, we are determined to ensure we are fully capturing the economic benefits in this country.
“To ensure our businesses, supply chain and high-skilled workforce can fully share in the sector’s success, investment in the Humber region and Teesside will put the UK in pole position to land new offshore wind investors. In the process it will ramp up our domestic manufacturing base and create thousands of good jobs in our industrial heartlands.”
Able Group executive chairman Peter Stephenson said the government has set clear policies that provide the offshore wind sector with far greater certainty and market visibility. “At the same time, the sector itself has responded with remarkable innovations and cost reductions which now see it successfully competing with other energy sources,” he said. “We will seek to maximise the benefits, locally and nationally, through increased UK content, new jobs and new opportunities for local businesses.”
In a statement, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said, “Together with planned stringent requirements on supporting UK manufacturers in government-backed renewables projects, the creation of new ports and the development of new factories will support industry to reach its target of 60% of offshore wind content coming from the UK supply chain.”
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