Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Old Dock Filled In to Create Green Port for Wind Turbine Production, Shipping and Potential Export

Historic Site Has Traditionally Been Associated with Energy Logistics
Shipping News Feature

UK – Siemens and Associated British Ports (ABP) have announced a combined total investment of £310 million in the development of the UK’s offshore wind industry with plans to build new wind turbine production and installation facilities which will be spread across two sites located in Yorkshire. Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding three years ago, the new statement means works to convert the old Alexandra Dock in the Port of Hull by infilling around 20 acres will proceed, and ships will call at the newly created ‘Green Port’ to load the giant turbines at the newly created Quay 2005 for distribution and export.

The investment will provide a huge boost to the both the industry and the Humber region creating up to 1,000 jobs directly with additional jobs during construction and indirectly in the supply chain. The engineering giant will invest £160 million in the facility which will be spread across the two sites: a construction, assembly and service facility at the Green Port Hull site on Alexandra Dock, and a new rotor blade manufacturing facility in nearby Paull, in East Riding. Ironically Alexandra Dock was created 130 years ago specifically for the export of coal and so continues its association with energy logistics.

Siemens’ port partner ABP, is investing a further £150 million in the Green Port Hull development which will see around twenty eight million cubic feet of spoil displace the former dock area. The plans should help create around 550 permanent jobs at the blade factory and 450 at Green Port Hull itself. Michael Suess Member of the Managing Board of Siemens and CEO of Siemens’ Energy Sector, said:

“Our decision to construct a production facility for offshore wind turbines in England is part of our global strategy: we invest in markets with reliable conditions that can ensure that factories can work to capacity. The British energy policy creates a favourable framework for the expansion of offshore wind energy. In particular, it recognises the potential of offshore wind energy within the overall portfolio of energy production.

“The offshore wind market in Great Britain has high growth rates, with an even greater potential for the future. Wind power capacity has doubled here within two years, to roughly 10 gigawatts. By 2020, a capacity of 14 gigawatts is to be installed at sea alone to combine the country’s environmental objectives with secure power supply. Projects for just over 40 gigawatts are currently in the long-term planning.”

The UK has 22 offshore wind farms currently operational, 5 under construction, 9 with planning consent and 9 awaiting approval. Britain has installed 3,653 megawatts of wind energy in UK waters which is enough to power more than two and a half million homes. A further 14,763 megawatts is in the pipeline more than four times the capacity the UK has now. Energy Secretary Ed Davey said:

“This deal is excellent news for the people of Hull and the Humber, the UK, the wind industry, and our energy security. We are attracting investment by backing enterprise with better infrastructure and lower taxes. As well as helping to keep the lights on and putting more than 1,000 people in work, this deal means we will help to keep consumer bills down as we invest in home-grown green energy and reduce our reliance on foreign imports. This deal shows our strategy for offshore wind is working; bringing investment, green jobs and growth, and helping keep Britain the number one country in the world for offshore wind.”

Siemens and ABP will be submitting planning applications to Hull City Council and East Riding Council over the next few months for revisions to the existing proposed scheme at Alexandra Dock and for land in Paull in East Riding for the wind turbine blade factory. Green Port Hull is planned to be operational to meet Round 3 requirements in early 2016. The start of production at the blade factory is scheduled to be in the middle of 2016 with full production levels reached from mid-2017 onwards.

Photo: A rare century old aerial shot of Alexandra Dock during the Great War.