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Turbine plans could put wind in port industry’s sails

[ October 7, 2020   //   ]

PD Ports has welcomed the Government’s announcement during the Conservative Party’s online annual conference, to invest £160million in ports and factories across the UK to manufacture the next generation of turbines. He pinpointed Teesside as one area that will benefit.

PD Ports’ CEO, Frans Calje, said: “This is more fantastic news for our region following last week’s announcement to place the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub here in the Tees Valley. The River Tees already houses many world-leading manufacturers in renewable technology, and this further investment by the UK government will truly boost our capabilities as a region and position us amongst the leading global offshore energy hubs.”

British Ports Association’s chairman and chief executive of Port of Blyth, Martin Lawlor called for enforced UK Content rules for offshore wind development to help realise the wider benefits.

He said: “We are pleased to see the Prime Minister recognise the opportunities for offshore wind. The UK has a huge marine and offshore wind resource. The aim to generate 30% of the UK’s electricity under the Offshore Wind Sector Deal is welcome and ports are keen to play a central role. However the UK needs to focus further on delivering more UK content in new wind farm developments. Unless this becomes more mandatory, the UK may well lead the world in offshore wind development but sadly the benefits will continue to be enjoyed largely by our European neighbours and countries further afield.

The Government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal includes an aspiration to increase UK content to 60% by 2030 but at the moment, key parts of the supply chain, particularly manufacturing,  are largely undertaken in Europe, says BPA.

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