Posted on the : 18th December 2013
The news that Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has today approved plans to create a world-class centre for the renewable energy industries on the south bank of the Humber has been described as ‘massively important for the region and the whole of the UK economy.’
That was the reaction of Able founder and Executive Chairman Peter Stephenson to the announcement of the Government’s go-ahead for the development of a £450million Marine Energy Park that will provide state-of-the-art quayside facilities purpose-built for the manufacture, assembly and installation of offshore renewable technologies, at Humber Ports – the largest site available for port-related developments in Europe.
The decision to approve the multi-million pound project follows an extensive planning process, which has seen detailed scrutiny of all aspects of the development—including measures by the company to develop a £60million package protecting wildlife and the environment. The construction process will begin early next year with the 1,289m quay being available from late 2016.
Humber Ports Port (AHP) is at the centre of the largest Enterprise Zone in the UK which covers both sides of the Humber and today Peter Stephenson predicted that, as well as attracting around 4,000 local jobs directly, it will be the catalyst for delivering the Humber-wide vision to create a cluster of renewable energy companies, both large and small.
Said Mr Stephenson “During the public hearings into our plans for AHP, its significance was compared to the impact of the Nissan development in the North East and this is no exaggeration. It provides the opportunity, not available at any other UK location, to create a critical mass of activity—not only producing wind turbines and their foundations but also providing a base for offshore installation.
“The Humber is ideally placed in close proximity to the world’s largest proposed offshore wind farms and, coupled with the scale of the site, the inherent strengths of local people and local businesses, we have the very best package to offer the emerging offshore wind sector.
“We know from detailed discussions with all the leading companies in the offshore wind industry that AHP is essential for the UK to become a major player— delivering the economies of scale to meet the Government’s targets in both driving down costs and ensuring that future offshore wind projects have a significant UK content. AHP provides that opportunity to deliver a truly integrated business cluster that will be the envy of continental competitors.
“The major international companies needed to know that the UK was serious in its commitment to the future of offshore wind development. Today’s approval – coupled with the Government’s support confirmed in the recent Autumn Statement – is just the message they required and will now enable us to progress negotiations with a range of clients wanting to bring jobs and investment to the Humber. This potential was, of course, underlined last month by the news that a major Foundation manufacturer – Strabag – identified AHP as it’s ‘preferred location’ for it’s 500 job European production facility and last week saw the Humber LEP finalise it’s City Deal.
“The real work starts now although the land assembly and development process has been underway for some 14 years—investment to date has already been significant and the planning application alone has cost almost £10 million. Port developments like this are not for the faint hearted and it has been a long 6 year haul for all those involved – we are indebted to our colleagues and those from the many different companies and organisations who have provided technical and legal support.
“We firmly believe that renewable energy offers the opportunity to transform the economy of the South Bank and the Humber region as a whole. We know that view is shared by the overwhelming majority of people in the area, including local Members of Parliament, by local authorities the Local Enterprise Partnership and a wide range of local businesses.
“In particular we are indebted to North Lincolnshire Council with whom we have worked throughout the development of our plans for Humber Ports and the Humber Ports Port. Their support and guidance has been invaluable.
“Today we now know that our collective hopes and ambitions for the area are also shared by the Government.”Return To News...