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ABLE Humber Port - ABLE Marine Energy Park


The Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) is a fully consented project that will be a bespoke port facility for the Renewable Energy Sector, particularly Offshore Wind. It will represent a c £450m investment by ABLE and covers an area of c 900 acres and will feature c 1,300m of new deep-water quays.

AMEP is a very simple concept based on industrial logic that will meet the needs of the emerging renewable energy sectors.

For a sector where proximity to market means everything to everyone, it makes sense to offer a big space in the right place, with substantial quays built to accommodate the deployment of large industrial components to the North Sea and beyond – all this, in the heart of the largest offshore wind market in the world.

AMEP offers 1,389m of new heavy duty deep water quays and 366.7 hectares (906 acres) of developable land. It is designed specifically for the marine renewables sector providing a multi-user facility for the manufacture, storage, assembly and deployment of next generation offshore wind turbines (OWTs) and their associated supply chain(s).

The quays have been designed following extensive liaison with the offshore wind industry (developers, manufacturers and installation vessel operators). The facility will be fully fit for purpose, future proofed, and particularly suited for the deployment of new generation jack-up installation vessels.

The quays are suitably designed for importation of components and raw materials. The quays are also suitably designed to facilitate multiple O&M vessels.

AMEP will:

  • Dramatically reduce the industry’s expenditure on delivery and installation vessels
  • Introduce a new, fixed, transparent charging model for operating the quays producing both stability and producibility at a huge cost saving when compared to other port operators
  • Allow lower delivered costs for components by dramatically reducing the number of supply chain interventions (lifts and moves), reducing the components ‘journey’ and overall ‘industry carbon footprint’

A truly integrated cluster in the Humber will bring additional benefits and have a profound impact on wider business behaviours towards the sector:

  • Cost and risk reduction – a higher propensity to finance and insure projects
  • An integrated cluster will enable deeper relationships between manufacturers and key suppliers to be enhanced (a subject long since embraced by the oil and gas sector)
  • Having a critical mass of activity in one geographic area will accelerate innovation and shorten ‘time to market’
  • Installation rates can be accelerated due to an optimal deployment location (long quays, designed to -17m CD) in close proximity to market.
  • The quays are designed to receive the largest delivery vessels so that tenants can maximise the use of delivery vessels allowing access to world market shipments and avoid the costs and time delays of inter European cargo splits.
  • A cluster will allow manufacturers to have greater control over their quality assurance chain with suppliers adjacent to their own assembly plants. This expedites meetings and minimises time out of the office for senior personnel.
  • The large land bank at AMEP allows investors to phase investments and stagger growth according to their needs and market share.
  • The opportunity to share infrastructure negates the need for investors to purchase expensive capital equipment.

AMEP – Cost Benefits

The combination of the ‘big space in the right place’ brings cost advantages on a major scale.

“Logistics savings by clustering would be between 2% and 3% of the total turbine sales value compared to distributed supply chains so there is a strong incentive for turbine producers to group their manufacturing facilities, supply chain and construction facilities.”BVG Associates

AMEP’s effective deployment location combined with the ability for suppliers and OEMs to be located within close proximity to one another eliminate the expensive logistics costs associated with a distributed supply chain.

The table below compares the lifts and moves required in the journey of an offshore wind turbine’s tower (in three separate sections) from the factory to it being loaded onto an installation vessel at its deployment port (AMEP). It compares the merits of a distributed supply chain against a scenario where it is manufactured and deployed from AMEP.

Lifts / Moves Over the life of Dogger Bank*
Distributed Supply Chain 24 55,536
AMEP 9 20,826

*denotes – Dogger Bank consisting of 1600 5MW and 714 7MW turbines

This exercise shows that 15 separate interventions (lifts and moves) are eliminated from the journey of each offshore wind turbine’s tower. As an indication of what that means for the industry it would eliminate 34,710 lifts and moves from the overall completion process of Dogger Bank (based on an assumption that 1,600 5MW turbines and 714 7MW turbines are used). Once this is escalated to include all the other components it would create a resounding saving, not only in terms of lifts and moves but costs, risks and installation times.

This exercise does not even consider the additional equipment that is involved with these logistics interventions or the additional costs associated with them such as:

  • Component packaging and discarding of waste material
  • Insurance premiums
  • Damage cost reduction
  • Vessel costs (charter rates, fuel, supplies and labour)
  • Port charges at load out port facility
  • Handling fees (stevedoring)
  • Storage costs and equipment at both the port and place of manufacture

Using industry information we have designed the quays as follows:-

  • Total quay length: 1,389m
  • Quay width: 28m
  • Quay surface: Concrete
  • Concrete quay capacity: 20T/m2 UDL with patch loads up to 60T/m²
  • Quays will provide 18.10m of water at MHWS
  • Quays designed to be capable of operating -17.00mCD
  • Berths pocket 60m wide
  • Berths: Engineered floor (100T/m²)
  • Quays designed to allow vessels to jack-up alongside
  • Bollards 150T and 250T
  • Vessels can berth side by side
  • The area has no history of operations being interrupted by ice or sand
  • Staging area: c.45 hectares (111 acres )

To date, £50m has been invested in preparing AMEP for the speedy construction of industrial facilities for its tenants.

The offshore wind industry has advanced rapidly and we understand that precisely identifying what it will be like in 2030 is difficult.

AMEP however has the scale of land together with the size and design of quays that allow for significant expansion in terms of both plant and overall capacity.

The site is flat with a UDL of 10T/m² and a patch load of 50T/m² with no risk of environmental contamination.

In the heart of an industrial area and with no residential neighbours, AMEP is suitable for operations to work 24hours per day; 7 days per week, as required.

AMEP provides tenants with first right of refusal on adjacent land enabling planned and phased development.

We understand that tenants will require individual, bespoke capital equipment. However, to reduce upfront capital expenditure AMEP will provide multi-user services that are available to hire such as large cranes, reach/lift trucks, dock cranes and SPMTs.

AMEP is adjacent to the ABLE Logistics Park (ALP) – a 497.5 hectare greenfield site with planning permission granted for the creation of extensive warehousing (1,700,000m² ), external storage and transportation depots. The development of ALP will complement AMEP’s tenants activities, potentially enabling a ‘just in time’ approach minimising inventories, sustaining and maximising efficiencies and workflow concepts.

Enterprise Zone status includes Special Planning Zone (SPZ) benefits to expedite the detailed planning process for potential clients.

AMEP will include a business park with new offices that can accommodate a range of supporting organisations undertaking tasks such as environmental and geotechnical assessments, legal financial and insurance services, planning, engineering and design.

Lighting – 50m high lighting columns across the site with 30m lighting columns within the business park and supplier park areas.

Security – 24 hour security with gatehouse on designated entrances. The port will have full industry security accreditations -DfT Maritime (formerly TRANSEC).

Compounds and facilities will be fenced with effective use of landscaping to further mitigate security issues and provide clear on site demarcation.

The development land has been designed to the appropriate flood defence levels agreed and established by the UK Environment Agency. This is on the basis of a flood risk assessment and will accommodate the 1 in 200 year tidal event, which has an annual occurrence probability of 0.5%.

To provide the robust infrastructure that the OWT industry seeks.

To allow tenants to benefit from economies of scale by creating a truly integrated offshore wind cluster.

To play a pivotal role in accelerating offshore wind installation rates and achieve vital cost reductions.

Land is available for development immediately and the first quays are planned to become available in 2018.

AMEP’s on-site rail link provides direct access to TATA Scunthorpe Steel Mill which produces enough steel to construct 490 Eiffel Towers per year. TATA’s wind turbine tower steel plate facility is located there and offers an ideal opportunity to address ‘local’ content issues.

AMEP is situated on the widest part of the Humber Estuary at 4km in width. The Humber’s natural characteristics offer a sheltered harbour location with two deep water channels providing quick and unhindered access to the open seas.

We have been engaged with the Marine Renewables Sector for many years and we have listened….. You said:

The market outlook is huge but post 2020 political commitment is unknown

AMEP offers extensive land availability for investors to optimise their plant layout and to expand in phases as and when required according to their market share and conditions.

UK ports are too controlling and we don’t want to have outlay large amounts of capital on equipment such as cranes and SPMT’s.

AMEP will operate as a multi-user port meaning customers have full flexibility when it comes to project management and procuring the services of external contractors. It also means capital equipment can be utilised avoiding the clients having to purchase expensive machinery such as cranes and SPMTs.

Our supply chain is constantly evolving and whilst the UK supply chain matures we will need to import equipment and parts from overseas – it’s hard to plan financially at UK ports.

We understand that conventional ports use a complex pricing mechanism making financial planning difficult. So….quite simply the charge for using the AMEP quays can be included in the rent.

For regular users there are no charges for vessel docking or for tonnage over the quay – this enables a wholly transparent pricing policy and allows tenants to maximise the use of the quay without incurring additional costs.

It also incentivises activity behind the quays as quite simply, the more our clients use their quays – the better the value for money they obtain.

When the vessels are ready to deliver we can’t keep them waiting – it’s too expensive to keep them waiting

AMEP offers sections of quay on a ‘first use’ basis meaning clients who have a frequent demand for quays always have the assurance that they will be available. At times where clients do not require the quays the port operator can sub-let the quays to other users creating a pay back for the lease holder.