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3 minute read

Green light for new Teesside wind turbine factory

GE Renewable Energy’s planned wind turbine blade factory on Teesside has taken a step forward after it received official planning approval from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

This is the first major milestone in the lead up to the construction of the state-of-the art 76,200 sq.m. facility in the South Bank zone of the Teesworks site. Construction is due to begin later in 2021, with completion expected in 2023.

As previously announced, LM Wind Power will operate the facility, which will be dedicated to the production of its 107-metre-long offshore wind turbine blades, a key component of GE’s Haliade-X, the most powerful offshore wind turbine built today.

Recruitment for the plant is scheduled to begin in mid-2022, with an estimated 750 direct positions to be filled. An additional 1,500 indirect jobs would be created to support the entire supply chain around the factory.

GE Renewable Energy has secured approval for a huge new offshore wind blade factory on Teesside that will create up to 750 jobs once open / Picture: LM Wind Power

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Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, said: “It’s fantastic news that this mammoth project has passed the planning hurdle and is on course to be up and running by 2023, helping to create thousands of well-paid, good-quality jobs for people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, both directly and in our brilliant supply chain businesses.

“We have been working hard to get the land ready for this exciting opportunity and now GE Renewable Energy can get the spades in the ground to make this a reality.”

When production starts, the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm would benefit directly from the blades produced at the new plant. The three phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, powered by GE’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbine, will have a combined installed generation capacity of 3.6 GW, enough to power six million UK homes. When complete in 2026, Dogger Bank will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

Steve Wilson, project director at Dogger Bank Wind Farm, said: “This important milestone brings us a step closer to the installation of UK-manufactured turbine blades on the world’s largest offshore wind farm. We’re proud to be the anchor project for this world-leading LM Wind Power facility, which offers long-term benefits to Teesside and the wider UK supply chain.”

The new manufacturing plant will produce 107-metre-long offshore wind turbine blades and is set to start production in 2023 / Picture: Teesworks

Olivier Fontan, president & CEO of LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, added: “We are delighted to have received this important approval from the Local Planning Authorities and are thankful for the collaboration between all parties involved, including Teesworks and the South Tees Development Corporation. There is still a lot of work in front of us but this an important milestone for the construction and future opening of the facility. We are proud of the contribution we will be making in rejuvenating this industrial cluster and helping it play a key role in future of renewable energy.”

Andrew Bellamy, UK general manager at LM Wind Power, concluded: “We anticipate the vast majority of the roles in our factory to be filled by workers who will need to be trained on blade manufacturing techniques. These highly qualified operator roles are key to the success of the plant, and we are ready to leverage the knowledge and experience of our global LM Wind Power team.”

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