Major boost for offshore wind as £450M port gets go-ahead


Major boost for offshore wind as £450M port gets go-ahead

Contracts will be let early in the new year for work on a £450 million port development to create an offshore wind hub in the north east following granting of planning approval yesterday.


Around 4,000 jobs will be created as a result of the approval granted by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to Able Marine for a Marine Energy Park on the south bank of the Humber. The permission is being hailed as a major boost for the UK’s ambitions to develop a significant wind turbine industry.


The long awaited permission means that work on constructing a 1,289 metre quay can start next year for completion by late 2016. The site will provide quayside facilities purpose built for manufacture, assembly and installation of offshore wind farm equipment including turbines.


The Energy Park, part of the overall Able Humber Port Development, is at the centre of the UK’s largest Enterprise Zone. The Port covers 2,135 acres and has a river frontage of 2.5 miles, making it one of the largest available for development in Europe. Able has invested £50 million there already to provide facilities for importing cars. Future plans include a logistics hub including warehousing, offices and storage.


As well as creating an expected 4,000 renewable energy related jobs locally the project will be a catalyst for delivering the vision of a hub or cluster of renewable energy companies in the region. Gravity based foundations and turbine manufacturer Strabag is in the final stages of negotiating a deal to locate its European production facility there, bringing 500 jobs.


The site will be well placed to service existing and future offshore wind developments. Despite having one of the world’s most ambitious offshore wind programmes the UK has no domestic turbine manufacturing, but this development is seen as able to create the critical mass of activity from producing turbines and their foundations to providing a base for offshore installation and servicing of wind farms.


Image: Able UK