Centrica Signs Long-Term Lease for Operations and Maintenance Base in Grimsby (UK)


CENTRICA, the energy group whose businesses include British Gas, has signed a long-term lease that will enable it to build an operation and maintenance base at Grimsby docks to serve its wind farms in the Greater Wash. The facility will be completed by the end of this year.

Centrica operates the 194MW Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farm, which was completed in 2009 and is three miles off the Lincolnshire coast. It is also building the nearby 270MW Lincs wind farm, which is expected to generate its first power by the end of 2012. The company currently runs operation and maintenance for the wind farm projects out of third party facilities in the dock, but the new base will provide more specialist services.

The site has capacity for over 100 staff, allowing provision for contract workers and additional workforce during peak times. This investment from one of the UK’s major players in the energy industry will provide long-term sustainable and well-paid jobs for the area and, moreover, it is anticipated to be a catalyst for many more jobs for those businesses in the relevant supply chains.


Mick Turner, head of operation and maintenance, Centrica Renewable Energy, said: “Grimsby provides excellent infrastructure for our operations and maintenance facility and has a strong skill base. The offshore wind industry is growing apace and Grimsby is well-placed to benefit from it. But in order achieve this potential, it is vitally important that further investment in the docks is forthcoming to ensure they are fit for purpose and can accommodate the large number of vessels required.”

John Fitzgerald, port director, Associated British Ports, Grimsby & Immingham, said: “This is really good news for Grimsby and further confirmation of the Humber Ports’ pivotal role in the development of UK’s offshore wind industry. From potential turbine manufacture at Greenport Hull to O&M bases here in the port of Grimsby, ABP are working with major players such as Centrica to develop the supply chain cluster which will firmly establish a new industry in this area.”

Martyn Boyers, chief executive, Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises Ltd, said: “This is great news for us as a company, great news for the port and the docks and great for the community of Grimsby. From this initiative we can improve the infrastructure and put in place the building blocks for the future by developing the facilities, services and skills to support the wind farm industry. It is a significant milestone in the future of this town and creates real opportunities.”

Michèle Cusack, assistant executive director of regeneration at the council, said: “This is fantastic news for Grimsby and the wider region. Centrica’s announcement has confirmed that North East Lincolnshire is the place to do business when it comes to the renewables industries.

“Centrica’s plans will further endorse our intentions for the area to become a centre of excellence for renewables and we will continue to work hard to ensure the local workforce is well placed to seize the opportunities that are presented.”

Work on the Lincs wind farm began last year with the construction of an onshore substation. Offshore work got underway this year and the first turbine foundations will be laid this week. When the wind farm is completed next year, it will meet the annual electricity demand of around 200,000 homes.


Source: nelincs, May 05, 2011