Humber LEP Chair Asks UK Government to Back Local Offshore Wind Industry

Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, has urged the UK government to show its commitment to development of offshore wind industry in the Humber estuary in response to DONG Energy's decision not to build a GBP 450 million offshore wind hub at the Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP).

Lord Haskins asked the government ''to significantly increase its commitment to offshore wind development'' by ''creating larger clusters of investment around the Humber estuary'' in order to ''make offshore wind energy competitive with other acceptable forms of electricity generation.''

DONG pulled the plug on the AMEP offshore wind hub project earlier this week, citing a recently published report, Strategic review of UK east coast staging and construction facilities, which concluded that UK east coast ports have the capability to support the pipeline of offshore wind projects which will be built out in the North Sea in the decades ahead.

DONG Energy and ABLE UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2015 ”to explore the potential opportunities for using AMEP to support construction of our wind farm pipeline.”

However, following the release of the review, DONG concluded that the timescales for development of such a hub would preclude it providing support for any of the company’s planned projects.

''The ‘Strategic Review of UK East Coast Staging and Construction Facilities’ appears to indicate that sufficient capacity exists for the manufacture of anticipated facility requirements,'' Lord Haskins said in his response.

''The Humber has established three key locations for engagement in offshore wind development. The first, Greenport Hull, is progressing well and will shortly commence the manufacture of blades. The second, Grimsby, is heavily engaged in the maintenance of the expanding wind energy facilities in the North Sea. However, the third site, AMEP at Killingholme, will be seriously affected by the conclusion that no further capacity is required.''

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