Two new ports on the Humber and on Teesside to build the next generation of offshore wind projects will be constructed as part of an up to £95 million investment to boost the UK’s world-leading industry and create 6,000 new jobs.
Able Marine Energy Park, on the South Bank of the River Humber, will receive up to £75 million government investment, and Teesworks Offshore Manufacturing Centre, on the River Tees, will benefit from up to £20 million. Construction will begin later this year to upgrade the two ports with new infrastructure.
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, substantially boosting the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing base while directly creating around 3,000 new jobs each.
The first offshore wind manufacturer to invest in the Teesside port has also been confirmed.
GE Renewable Energy will build a new state-of-the-art offshore wind blade manufacturing factory at the site, which will directly create around 750 of the 3,000 high quality 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 produced by GE Renewables will be supplied to the Dogger Bank wind farm, located off the 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 6 million homes.
These ports will play a key role in the target to quadruple the UK’s offshore wind capacity to produce 40GW of energy from offshore wind by 2030 – enough to power every home in the country. This lays 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.
The government funding will be provided through the £160 million investment to upgrade port infrastructure and support manufacturing announced by the Prime Minister in October 2020.
Once complete, the two ports will have the capacity to support the development of up to 9GW of energy offshore wind projects each year – enough electricity to power around 8 million homes.
Through the the 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.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:
"The offshore wind sector is a major British industrial success story, providing cheap, green electricity while supporting thousands of good-quality jobs. 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.
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.
Today’s announcements will significantly speed up the development of the next generation of wind turbines in the UK and will be gateways to the rest of the world, making it easier for businesses to trade. This will create new opportunities for the Humber and Teesside to lead the world in new industrial sectors and low carbon technologies, significantly growing the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing supply chain."
Peter Stephenson, executive chairman of the Able Group said:
"The government has set clear policies that provide the offshore wind sector with far greater certainty and market visibility. At the same time the sector itself has responded with remarkable innovations and cost reductions which now see it successfully competing with other energy sources. We will seek to maximise the benefits, locally and nationally, through increased UK content, new jobs and new opportunities for local businesses."
President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy Jerôme Pécresse said:
"This new plant will contribute to the development of an industrial cluster dedicated to offshore wind in the North East of England. 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 UK’s target to commission 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 is ambitious and requires that we invest in local production capabilities to accompany this effort."