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New Humber production facility could create 400 jobs
South Korean steel pipe manufacturer SeAH has confirmed its intention to establish a monopile production facility on the south bank of the Humber.
With the potential to create around 400 jobs, SeAH has signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding with Able UK to use the Able Marine Energy Park development as a new UK base.
Monopiles, which are cylindrical steel tubes driven into the seabed, provide the foundations for offshore wind turbines. Currently, there are no monopile production facilities in the UK. The vast majority of the UK’s 2,292 installed offshore wind turbines have a monopile foundation, only a small number of which (16) were produced in the UK.
As part of the 1,695-acre Able Humber Port, Able Marine Energy Park provides a fully consented (£475m) development offering 1,279m of heavy-duty, deep-water quays supported by 198 acres of adjacent installation yards and 353 acres of manufacturing and storage land. Its bespoke design will fully accommodate the manufacture, assembly, storage and installation of all offshore wind components.
Peter Stephenson, Able UK’s executive chairman, said: “The offshore wind sector is potentially on the cusp of something very special. We have a clear and unambiguous policy from Whitehall through the Sector Deal in the Industrial Strategy, and the increasingly demanding targets for both power generation and the extent of UK content. Combine this with the sector’s extraordinary efforts in terms of developing new products and significantly reducing costs and the sector is set to become a dominant factor in a post Covid-19 UK economy.
“However, to make the most of this ‘brave new world’, and to deliver 60 percent UK content we must act now to capitalise on this singular, but time-limited opportunity. The Able Marine Energy Park can and will play a vital role in this process to, first and foremost, provide purpose-built heavy-duty deep-water quays and, just as crucially, a large expanse of adjacent supporting hinterland (353 acres).
“SeAH are one of a number of manufacturers with whom we are at similar stages of negotiation. SeAH have fully embraced the concept of establishing a new ‘world-scale’ industrial cluster for offshore wind on the Humber and with it the overarching strength of the UK’s offshore wind sector. Subject to our receiving the necessary support the first quays will be available towards the end of 2022, to coincide with the needs of both manufacturers and the developers of the offshore wind farms.”
Hyungkun Nam, chief executive officer at SeAH, added: “The UK has the strongest market and we intend to play an important role in the ongoing development of the offshore wind sector. We recognise the considerable opportunity to be the first significant UK-based monopile supplier and partnering with the Able Marine Energy Park, and with it Able, as a company with such a credible track record, as the sole partner with whom we wish to progress matters. That is why we have signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding with Able as we seek to bring to reality what would be a significant investment with an initial annual capacity of 162,000 tons, and rising up to 320,000 tons, and the prospect of providing around 400 new jobs.”