Offshore Wind Brings Germany and Humber Closer Together

German and Humber offshore wind and ports business developers are meeting today at the University of Hull as part of an inward trade mission organised during the UK’s first Offshore Wind Week.

The participants will discuss the role of offshore wind for the UK energy system, the importance of offshore wind for the local economy, as well as the role of ports for the implementation of offshore wind projects.

Daniela Behrens, Lower Saxony’s Secretary of State for Economy, Labour and Transport, heads the trade delegation organised by Team Humber Marine Alliance.

CEOs and directors from more than 20 German businesses and organisations are attending a morning of networking, talks and presentations by Humber offshore wind and renewable energy figures at the University of Hull. The trade mission comes in the wake of news from Siemens of its plans to build a factory in the Lower Saxony port of Cuxhaven.

“The Cuxhaven factory is a similar investment to Hull and was selected for the same key reason as Hull – a portside location with available space and in close proximity to North Sea offshore wind farms,” Mark O’Reilly, CEO of Team Humber Marine Alliance, said.

“Cuxhaven’s similarities and investment will have a comparable regenerative impact and this is a great opportunity to build relationships with a region that in many ways reflects our own. The Humber has excellent existing trade connections with the Lower Saxony region which sees daily shipments of vehicles, steel, specialist cargoes as well as RoRo ferry services between Grimsby, Immingham, Emden and Cuxhaven.”

The University of Hull’s involvement in renewables and offshore wind includes, among other, delivering environmental impact assessments around the Humber estuary to help unlock project developments. HIVE, the University’s virtual reality facility, is also being utilised within the industry for simulating offshore wind farm environments and was recently used at a Siemens recruitment event for its Green Port Hull factory.

Professor Amar Ramudhin, Director of the University of Hull’s Logistics Institute, said: “This is an important trade visit with a focus on the offshore wind industry and its impact on our respective regions as well as future cooperation. The University of Hull has a central role to play in the Humber’s Energy Estuary and we are proud to host these visitors from the ‘Land of Energy’.”

Companies in the German delegation include Buss Ports Logistics, EWE, Freitag Prototypen, Hannover Airport, KRD Coatings, Niedersachsen Ports, Noste Transport, Rhenus Cuxport, Schone & Bruns, Stalhbau Menke, Vornbaumen Stahlseile and Wurst Stahlbau.

“Offshore wind is a truly European cross-border project with the North Sea as its centre. The Humber and Cuxhaven regions share a similar economic history. Dominated for too long by the decline in fishing and other traditional maritime activities offshore wind now brings the chance of sustainable economic development for our regions,” Hans-Peter Zint, managing director of Cuxhaven Port, said.

“Maritime links already exist but will be greatly enhanced by the planned operation of Siemens production facilities in Hull and in Cuxhaven. This visit looks at how we can build up from this and further develop and deepen the relationship between our two regions.”

Image: ABP/David Lee Photography

Photo: Alexandra Dock in Hull, the construction site of UK's first offshore wind turbine manufacturing, assembly, installation and service facility.