Green Port Hull gets the green light from Siemens

March 25, 2014

Today, 25 March, Siemens has confirmed that it will be investing £160 million in wind turbine production and installation facilities at Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Hull.

The revised plan will be spread across two sites including the ‘Green Port Hull’ site on Alexandra Dock at the Port of Hull, which will comprise a construction, assembly, and service facility, and a new rotor blade manufacturing facility in nearby Paull in the East Riding. This marks an expansion of the original plans announced in 2011 and establishes Paull as an industrial park for the offshore wind supply chain to base itself.

ABP is investing £150 million in the project, which will provide a huge boost to the UK’s offshore wind industry and the Humber region, creating up to 1,000 jobs directly, with additional employment opportunities generated during construction and within the supply chain.

This news comes on the back of recent investments, including ABP’s announcement last year that it has signed a 15-year contract with Drax Power Limited, which will see terminal investments of up to £100m to handle wood pellet shipments at its Humber Ports of Immingham, Hull, and Goole to support Drax Power’s conversion to a low carbon electricity producer through replacing coal with sustainable biomass. 

ABP’s Port of Grimsby already benefits from the offshore wind revolution across the Humber. Many energy companies such as Centrica, E.On, and Siemens have already established Operations and Maintenance bases in the Fish Dock, and earlier this year the Danish energy company DONG confirmed it has chosen Grimsby’s Royal Dock to base its own Operations and Maintenance centre.

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the announcement from Siemens today. He said: "This is a massive vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan. This investment is going to create lots of new jobs and opportunities, meaning more financial security and peace of mind for families and a more resilient economy for our country."

ABP Chief Executive James Cooper said: “The announcement by Siemens today underlines the critical role the Humber region plays in servicing the UK’s energy’s needs both today and in the future. Our investment in Green Port Hull will ensure the supply chain supporting this exciting new industry can be centred on the Humber. We are delighted that Siemens has chosen to partner with us to realise this exciting project.”

ABP Director, Humber, John Fitzgerald said: “Today represents another landmark moment for this city and the wider Humber region. Green Port Hull has received overwhelming support from all our stakeholders since its inception in 2010 and we thank all those involved in bringing us to what is arguably the most important announcement in this area for decades.

“We look forward to delivering the jobs and prosperity this project will undoubtedly bring.”

Michael Suess, member of the managing board of Siemens AG and CEO of the 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 recognizes 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.”

Roland Aurich, Chief Executive, Siemens plc said: “Being able to further increase our presence in the UK with this significant commitment is great for Siemens, for the UK economy and for future generations, who will benefit from more secure and sustainable, low carbon energy.” 

The Green Port Hull project is the product of a huge team effort between many national and local political, business, and community partners and many people within Siemens in the UK, Denmark, and Germany, and ABP.

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, when Hull will be the UK’s City of Culture.

This announcement comes on the back of recent investments at both Hull and Immingham to support Drax Power’s transformation from coal to a predominantly biomass-fuelled generator.

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To download a pdf copy of the press release, click here