Siemens plans £210m Hull wind turbine plant
Proposed factory, built Associated British Ports, is set to create 700 job
Siemens on Tuesday submitted plans for a £210m wind turbine factory in Hull that is set to create 700 jobs when it opens in three years’ time.
The German conglomerate and Associated British Ports (ABP) handed in a joint application to the city council and the Marine Management Organisation after signing a memorandum of understanding in January.
The Green Port Hull facility will be sited in the Alexandra Dock area of the city, with Siemens investing £80m and ABP £130m in the port infrastructure, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Assuming the scheme is approved by next summer, construction will begin immediately.
Siemens plans to demolish existing buildings before developing a factory, office, and helicopter landing site, as well as areas to store, assemble, and test wind turbine components.
The proposal forms part of a plan to turn the area into a hub for renewable energy companies supporting the huge expansion of offshore wind energy planned over the next decade.
According to government plans, up to 12GW of capacity is set to be installed by 2020, and ports all around the UK coast are vying to tap into the potential rewards.
Sam Pick, business development director of the Humber-based Renewables Network, said that the plant offers a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to attract more large-scale renewable energy investment to the area.
“This is not just a new opportunity for Siemens, but rather an opportunity for local businesses across the Humber area,” he said. “A supply chain, both directly and indirectly, supporting the operation of the offshore wind farms is needed and thousands of jobs can be created. Once operational, this investment will establish the area as the world’s leading location for marine renewables – spanning wind, wave and tidal power.”
The deal was also welcomed by trade body RenewableUK, which noted that the news comes after wind turbine tower manufacturer Mabey Bridge also announced that it is moving to 24-hour operations to meet growing demand, creating 45 new jobs in Chepstow in the process.
Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK, said that jobs in the wind industry and associated supply chain are set to rise nine-fold to 90,000 over the coming decade.
“That pattern is set to continue, even though other sectors are struggling in the current economic climate,” she said. “Thousands of the engineers, technicians and designers of the future will find employment in the wind industry, helping us to build the low-carbon economy this country needs and deserves.”
The anouncement by Siemens represents a major coup for the UK’s low carbon economy and is expected to be followed by a series of similar moves from other large scale turbine manufacturers.
Most notably, Vestas is considering locating a new factory in Kent, while GE and Mitsubishi are also reported to be considering further investment in the UK’s wind energy sector.