The Rt Hon Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, today joined Siemens global executives to mark ground-breaking on wind turbine manufacturing and assembly facilities in Hull.
Mr Davey visited Hull’s Alexandra Dock to celebrate the beginning of construction on the site where Siemens will operate blade manufacturing, assembly and servicing facilities. With its partner, Associated British Ports, Siemens is investing £310m in the development. The Siemens facilities will create 1,000 direct jobs and many more during the construction phase and in the supply chain.
The Secretary of State and Siemens executives were also joined by leaders from the European renewables industry to record an important milestone in the Hull project, at today’s event which had the theme “Engineering The Future”.
As work begins at Alexandra Dock, it was announced that the first wind farm that would benefit from Hull is Dudgeon, off the Norfolk coast, which will be able to use the facility and quayside for part of its installation. Siemens has been selected as the supplier to Dudgeon, which is owned by Norwegian energy companies Statoil and Statkraft and Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar, and is operated by Statoil.
The Dudgeon wind farm will comprise 67 of Siemens’ 6 MW offshore wind turbines, which have the world’s longest blade in commercial operation, at 75 metres in length.
Michael Hannibal, CEO Offshore of the Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division said: “The UK offshore wind market has seen strong growth, with even greater future potential. By 2020 14 gigawatts of wind power capacity is to be installed in UK waters, to achieve environmental objectives and security of power supply. Our Hull facilities will contribute significantly to the growth of the offshore wind industry in the UK and to the shared objective of Siemens, the industry and the Government of driving down the costs of renewable energy.”
Mr Davey said: “The £310 million investment will benefit the UK economy by creating green jobs and growth as well as providing secure, sustainable and low-carbon energy. The development will also help to drive down the costs of offshore wind. It marks the beginning of a new industry based here and exporting worldwide.”
ABP has appointed the GRAHAM Lagan Construction Group Joint Venture to develop the Alexandra Dock site for the Siemens facilities and significant enabling work has now begun. Work to be carried out by the joint venture contractors will include building three new berths and a roll-on, roll-off ramp.
Dependent on planning consent, construction of buildings for the blade manufacturing and wind turbine assembly facilities is due to begin in summer 2015, with production of the first blades scheduled for winter 2016.
Siemens has already begun hiring for jobs based in Hull, with recruitment continuing through 2015 and 2016.