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3 minute read

£180m investment in offshore wind manufacturing

More than 1,000 jobs will be created and safeguarded across the North East of England and the Humber in a UK offshore wind production boom, following more than £180m of private sector investment.

On top of their own private investment, offshore wind manufacturers SeAH Wind Ltd and Smulders Projects UK will each receive grant funding out of the £160m Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme.

SeAH Wind will receive funding towards a new £117m monopile foundation factory at the Able Marine Energy Park on the Humber, creating up to 750 direct jobs by 2030.

Smulders Projects UK will receive funding towards a £70m investment in new equipment and infrastructure to enable the manufacture of offshore wind turbine transition pieces at its existing site in Wallsend, Newcastle, creating and safeguarding up to 325 direct jobs.

More than £180m of private sector investment in UK offshore wind manufacturing will create or safeguard more than 1,000 jobs / Picture: Getty/iStock

The two manufacturers will substantially boost the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing base, supplying essential components to offshore wind farms across the UK – as well as for export around the world. The Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme is designed to support the delivery of manufacturing investment in the offshore wind supply chain. It provides grant funding for major investments in the manufacture of strategically important offshore wind components, from turbine blades to sea cables.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Wind is one of the UK’s greatest natural assets and we’re a world-leader in offshore wind energy. With the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, we are determined to grow and nurture a strong, world-class manufacturing base so British businesses and our workforce can fully seize the economic benefits being a windy island nation brings.

“Today’s investments will not only put the wind in the sails of the UK’s industrial heartlands, creating and supporting thousands of good quality jobs, they will also benefit the whole of Britain as we work to onshore more manufacturers, attract inward investment and ramp up export opportunities.”

The investment will be a huge boost to local economies in the North-East and Humber, with more than 1,000 direct jobs and a similar number of indirect jobs being created and safeguarded.

Minister for investment, Gerry Grimstone, added: “These investments highlight how we are building a manufacturing base that reflects our position as a world leader in this key technology and the attractiveness of the UK’s clean energy sector to international investors. UK workers will be building the next generation of wind turbines that will not only help us meet our own climate change commitments but will be exported and can power countries all over the globe in a cleaner greener future.”

Today’s announcement is a big leap forward in delivering the Prime Minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution and meeting the target of quadrupling the UK’s offshore wind capacity to produce 40GW of energy from offshore wind by 2030 – enough to power every home in the country.

Joosung Lee, COO of SeAH Steel Holdings Corporation, said: “Based on the active support and trust from the UK government, it is meaningful for SeAH that investment toward the monopile factory is in full swing.”

The funding swiftly follows another announcement made in March this year when the government announced up to £95 million investment to establish two new ports on the Humber and on Teesside to enable manufacturers to build the next generation of offshore wind projects.

Together, these new ports will have the capacity to house up to 7 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.

In addition, US energy giant GE Renewable Energy have announced an investment in a major new offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing plant, the first investment on Teesside. This brand new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will directly create around 750 jobs in the area to supply the Dogger Bank Wind Farm project.

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