Business, Freight News, Logistics, Sea

Sheerness to bounce back

[ October 12, 2012   //   ]

The port of Sheerness in Kent has bounced back from its disappointment that Danish wind turbine frim Vestas’ decision not to go ahead with a major manufacturing plant. Swale Borough Council has approved the Peel Port owned harbour’s planning application for the development of a Wind Turbine Manufacturing facility.

In 2011, Vestas negotiated a twelve-month option with Peel Ports to construct a major manufacturing plant at Sheerness, which would have employed around 2,400 people but in the event chose not to proceed.

However, Peel Ports says that the inherent strengths of their site will be attractive to other major players and revealed that it had been in confidential discussions with several blue-chip international manufacturers. The port “is ready to invest significant capital into improving the infrastructure of the site and is confident of finding a turbine manufacturer and ancillary users,” Peel added.

Gary Parkinson, managing director at the Medway Ports said: “The Vestas decision was disappointing but had nothing to do with the suitability of the site at the Port of Sheerness. Our discussions with leaders in offshore energy and renewables as well as with the Government and local authorities have reinforced our conviction that this is a perfect site for manufacture of wind turbines and related activities.

“The site covers 70 hectares and the planning consent will enable us to upgrade the marine infrastructure and provide berths with up to 100tonnes per sq metre load bearing capacity as well as providing outline planning permission for 175,450sqm of buildings with eaves height to 35m. We believe that these benefits will attract a manufacturer to the site as international business confidence improves and government policies on feed-in tariffs and other issues are clarified.”

He also praised the support he had received from local councils, MPs, Thames Gateway Kent Partnership and Locate in Kent.

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