The UK government plans to invest up to GBP 95 million (around EUR 111 million) to build two new offshore wind port hubs on the Humber and on Teesside.
Teesworks Offshore Manufacturing Centre, on the River Tees, will benefit from up to GBP 20 million.
As previously reported, Able Marine Energy Park, on the South Bank of the River Humber, will receive up to GBP 75 million government investment.
Construction will begin later this year to upgrade the two ports, both named freeports by the UK Chancellor last week, with new infrastructure, the government said.
Together, these new ports will have the capacity to house up to seven manufacturers to support the development of the next-generation offshore wind projects, directly creating around 3,000 new jobs each.
Once complete, the two ports will have the capacity to support the development of up to 9 GW of offshore wind projects each year, the government said
GE to Produce Haliade-X Blades on Teesside
The first offshore wind manufacturer to invest in the Teesside port has also been confirmed by the government.
Thanks to Teesside receiving free port status, as well as government backing, GE Renewable Energy will build a new offshore wind blade manufacturing factory at the site, which will directly create around 750 of the 3,000 jobs created by the Teesside port and approximately 1,500 indirect jobs in the area.
Due to open and start production in 2023, the blades for the Haliade-X wind turbine model produced by GE Renewables will be supplied to the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank wind farm, located off the UK North East coast, which when completed in 2026 will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world and will be capable of powering up to six million homes.
”This new plant will contribute to the development of an industrial cluster dedicated to offshore wind in the North East of England,” President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy Jerôme Pécresse said.
”We are delighted to announce such a commitment for the renewable energy industry, we believe it will help develop a strong talent pool through the hiring and more importantly training of future colleagues.”
The Humber and Teesside Key in Reaching 40 GW by 2030 Target
The investment is part of the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10 Point Plan which includes the target to quadruple the UK’s offshore wind capacity to produce 40 GW of energy from offshore wind by 2030, enough to power every home in the country.
”During the Industrial Revolution over 200 years ago, wind powered the sails of ships from the Humber and Teesside trading goods around the world,” Prime Minister Johnson said.
”Now the Humber and Teesside will put the wind in the sails of our new green industrial revolution, building the next generation of offshore wind turbines whilst creating 6,000 new green jobs in the process. Our multi-million-pound investment in these historic coastal communities is a major step towards producing the clean, cheap energy we need to power our homes and economy without damaging the environment.”
The government funding will be provided through the GBP 160 million investment to upgrade port infrastructure and support manufacturing announced by the Prime Minister in October 2020.
This investment is said to lay the groundwork for the UK to take advantage of the booming offshore market in the UK and internationally, support up to 60,000 jobs in the industry, and help eliminate the UK’s contribution to carbon emissions by 2050.
Through the two new ports, businesses, including smaller suppliers, across the UK will be well-placed to win contracts and attract further investment from energy companies around the world, increasing their competitive standing on the global stage, the government said.
”While the UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, we are determined to ensure we are fully capturing the economic benefits in this country,” the UK’s Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said.
”To ensure our businesses, supply chain and high-skilled workforce can fully share in the sector’s success, today’s investment in the Humber region and Teesside will put the UK in pole position to land new offshore wind investors. In the process it will ramp up our domestic manufacturing base and create thousands of good jobs in our industrial heartlands.”
With the Humber region already home to six operational offshore wind farms including the largest one in the world – Hornsea One – and Teesside recently agreeing the world’s largest offshore wind turbine deal, these two regions are well-established offshore wind hubs, the government said
Together with planned requirements on supporting UK manufacturers in government-backed renewables projects, the creation of new ports and the development of new factories will support the industry to reach its target of 60 per cent of offshore wind farm content coming from the UK supply chain.