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Wind in Hull’s sails as Siemens confirms Green Port plan

[ March 25, 2014   //   ]

Siemens has confirmed longstanding plans to build a new wind turbine factory in the port of Hull. The German owned engineering firm is investing £160m in Green Port Hull at the city’s Alexandra Dock and in a new blade factory in nearby Paull.

According to reports, the factories will be open by 2016 and will supply turbines to offshore wind farms including Dogger Bank.

The Green Port Hull was announced in January 2011. Associated British Ports (ABP) is partnering Siemens and investing £150m in the project.

Construction, under a revised and extended plan, will be on two sites including the ‘Green Port Hull’ site on Alexandra Dock at the Port of Hull, which will comprise a construction, assembly, and service facility, and a new rotor blade manufacturing facility in nearby Paull in the East Riding.

Siemens and ABP will submit planning applications to Hull City Council and East Riding Council over the next few months for revisions to the existing proposed scheme at Alexandra Dock and for land in Paull in East Riding for the wind turbine blade factory.

Green Port Hull is planned to be operational to meet Round 3 requirements in early 2016. The start of production at the blade factory is scheduled for mid 2016 with full production levels reached from mid-2017 onwards.

ABP director, Humber, John Fitzgerald said the announcement was “a landmark moment for this city and the wider Humber region. Green Port Hull has received overwhelming support from all our stakeholders since its inception in 2010 and we thank all those involved in bringing us to what is arguably the most important announcement in this area for decades. We look forward to delivering the jobs and prosperity this project will undoubtedly bring.”

Prime Minister David Cameron also welcomed the news, saying: “This investment is going to create lots of new jobs and opportunities, meaning more financial security and peace of mind for families and a more resilient economy for our country.”

ABP chief executive James Cooper added: “Our investment in Green Port Hull will ensure the supply chain supporting this exciting new industry can be centred on the Humber. We are delighted that Siemens has chosen to partner with us to realise this exciting project.”

ABP’s Port of Grimsby on the other side of the Humber already handles offshore wind traffic with energy companies such as Centrica, E.On, and Siemens having already established operations and maintenance bases there.

Michael Suess, member of the managing board of Siemens AG and CEO of the Energy Sector, concluded, saying: “Our decision to construct a production facility for offshore wind turbines in England is part of our global strategy: we invest in markets with reliable conditions that can ensure that factories can work to capacity. The British energy policy creates a favourable framework for the expansion of offshore wind energy. In particular, it recognizes the potential of offshore wind energy within the overall portfolio of energy production.

“The offshore wind market in Great Britain has high growth rates, with an even greater potential for the future. Wind power capacity has doubled here within two years, to roughly 10 gigawatts. By 2020, a capacity of 14 gigawatts is to be installed at sea alone to combine the country’s environmental objectives with secure power supply. Projects for just over 40 gigawatts are currently in the long-term planning.”

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