Hull City Council has welcomed a ‘game-changer’ planning application from wind turbine OEM Siemens Gamesa to double the size of the company’s blade manufacturing facility in the city, potentially creating hundreds of new jobs
If the plan goes ahead, Siemens Gamesa will dramatically extend its facility on Alexandra Dock in Hull from 36,000 m2 to 77,600 m2 to support the growing North Sea wind energy industry.
The proposed development will be dependent on government support and Siemens Gamesa securing work for the next phase of development of offshore windfarms. It could see blades in excess of 100 m being developed in Hull.
Siemens Gamesa chief executive NE&ME and UK managing director Clark Macfarlane said, “Siemens Gamesa’s decision to invest in Hull and create a blade manufacturing facility and co-located execution port has been a hugely successful project, and has been a key part of the continued development of a world leading offshore sector in the UK. The recent Ten Point Plan announced by the Government also demonstrates this.
“As part of the continued drive to reduce costs to consumers, future turbines will continue to grow in capacity and this means that changes may be required in our factory operations to create the space and capability to produce blades beyond 100 m in length. We need to look at all options carefully.
“As part of preparations for our future requirements, Siemens Gamesa has submitted a planning application covering a larger factory footprint which would be required. This is a normal process for considering and planning future investments of this nature. There is no firm decision on this investment at this stage but we need to establish planning feedback.
“Siemens Gamesa will continue to discuss with local stakeholders and make more information available if and when the project progresses.”
Hull City Council portfolio holder for economic investment and regeneration Councillor Daren Hale said, “This is thrilling news for Hull and if this goes ahead it will help to further cement the city’s position at the forefront of the green economy revolution.
“As we have seen in the past, investments like this have transformed the city and this latest plan could be a game-changer. It could be critical in supporting the recovery of Hull in a post-Covid-19 economy.
“Investments by Siemens Gamesa have already created over a thousand jobs in this city and these new plans have the potential to create hundreds more skilled opportunities.
“Hull City Council is committed to a zero-carbon future and, by working with our private sector partners, this plan could be another major milestone in that journey.
“This has great potential for Hull and we now need the government to support Siemens Gamesa so they can continue to invest in the city and deliver more clean and cheaper energy to consumers.”
When Siemens Gamesa opened its facility at Green Port Hull, it created more than 1,000 new jobs for Hull – 97% of which were filled from a 48-km radius – and now contributes more than £73 GVA (US$102) to the local economy.
The renewable energy giant also attracted a raft of new businesses to the supply chain in the city, subsequently there has been £3Bn in public and private sector investment in Hull.