A wind turbine plant that is set to create hundreds of jobs in Yorkshire came a step closer to realisation this week, when German engineering conglomerate Siemens and Associated British Ports (ABP) submitted plans for development of the project.
Describing it as a "significant milestone", Siemens
handed joint applications to develop the Green Port Hull
initiative at Alexandra Dock
to Hull City Council
on Tuesday. The factory is set to create 700 jobs directly, and many more in the supply chain, when it opens in three years’ time. Once operational, it will be able to service three of the largest offshore wind farm zones in the UK and will play a significant role in the Government’s plans to install 18 gigawatts of wind capacity over the next decade. The target requires 1000 turbines to be built every year up to 2020.
Commenting on the plans for the Green Port Hull factory, Dan McGrail, project manager for Siemens, said: "We are very pleased that another significant milestone in the project has been achieved, and we look forward to discussing plans further with the local community during the consultation process." Plans for factory
Planning consent has already been granted for manufacturing at the 100-hectare site at Alexandra Dock. Siemens and APB are now seeking approval for more detailed plans including the demolishing of existing buildings and development of the factory itself. Plans for the docks also include facilities for storage, handling and assembly and testing of wind turbines, offices and amenities, a helicopter landing site and a six megawatt wind turbine to power the site and 6,000 homes.
Construction of the site is expected to begin in 2012 once consent has been granted.
Hull City Council welcomed the planning applications, saying that other work would now be stepped up to build a local supply chain, create a skills development programme and attract further investment
to the locality to make the city a centre of excellence in renewables
The Government has awarded the area around the docks with enterprise zone status and awarded £25.7 million in funding for the region through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
"With the RGF bid, Enterprise Zones and the excellent partnerships we have developed, we have every available tool in the toolkit to build a supply chain, develop the right skills in the region and attract investment to the region to help make the Humber the UK centre for renewables," Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration and Employment Councillor Steven Bayes said.
The Green Port Hull factory is one of a number of similar turbine plants expected to be built in the UK over the next few years to meet the Government’s ambitious offshore wind plans. In May, Danish turbine manufacturer confirmed it was considering siting a factory in Kent.
RenewableUK’s said the wind industry was creating a "jobs bonanza" for the UK.
"The wind industry is already employing more than 10 thousand people full time – that’s set to rise to nearly ninety thousand over the next 10 years, not only in the industry itself but also in the supply chain, with components manufacturers supplying this fast-growing sector," said Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK’s chief executive.
The latest developments at the Green Port Hull initiative follow the news that wind turbine tower manufacturer Mabey Bridge is almost doubling its workforce to 102 in Chepstow as it ramps up production to operate 24 hours a day to meet growing demand.
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