Isle of Sheppey Mustn’t Miss Offshore Wind Power Opportunity (UK)


A POTENTIAL investment in Sheerness that could bring 2,000 jobs is an opportunity the whole of Kent cannot afford to miss, according to Sheppey’s MP.

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas announced last Wednesday that it has taken out an option to secure exclusive rights on a massive swath of land at the Port of Sheerness.

If it commits to its plan to build giant offshore wind turbines there, the move could provide a massive jobs boost.

Despite an already “sizeable investment” to secure the option on the land, which is the size of 93 football pitches, the arrangement to start building is far from set in stone.

Vestas said it needs enough orders for the turbine, as well as support from the Government – both in terms of policy and public investment.

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson has pledged to do what he can to make the deal happen.

Mr Henderson said: “I will be working closely with Swale Council and Kent County Council to provide Vestas with the assurance it requires. This is an opportunity, frankly, that we simply cannot miss.”

Mr Henderson said Vestas’ interest was crucial, not just for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, but for the whole county, especially given recent job losses at Pfizer in Sandwich which Kent County Council fought hard to avoid.

He said: “We need Kent County Council to put the same sort of focus on the Vestas project as it had on the closure of Pfizer. This is a positive for Kent.”

Mr Henderson plans to meet in the near future with Matthew Delaney, Vestas’ director responsible for parliamentary affairs, to discuss exactly what the Danish firm wants from the Government.

He has also asked to speak next week in a key debate in Parliament, where he will discuss the Vestas proposal.

By Jim Palmer (thisiskent)


Source: thisiskent, May 19, 2011; Image: vestas