GOVERNMENT BACKS ABLE MARINE ENERGY PARK TO LEAD OFFSHORE WIND REVOLUTION
News that the Government is supporting the development of a world-class facility for the offshore wind sector on the south bank of the Humber has been welcomed as the “culmination of dogged perseverance underpinned by our ultimate faith in the concept and unstinting support from many organisations and individuals.”
That was how Peter Stephenson, Executive Chairman of the Able Group, summed up his reaction to the announcement that the Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) has been selected for support under the Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme, a key element in plans, announced last year by the Prime Minister as part of the Government’s 10 Point Plan and ambitions to enable the UK to become the ‘Saudi Arabia of wind.’
AMEP will represent a c.£500m investment, providing 1,349m of new deep-water quays and a land area designated for offshore wind of c 217 ha (536 acres). It represents a unique opportunity for the UK to establish a world scale industrial cluster for offshore wind and enable the UK to maximise the economic development potential provided by the rapidly expanding offshore wind market. It has the very real potential to transform the local economy, providing up to 3,000 new jobs, and putting the Humber at the very heart of the sector.
Said Mr Stephenson “This has been a long, challenging and expensive journey and has not been for the faint-hearted– make no mistake, without the level of support that we have received from Government, the project would not have proceeded.
“The Government has set clear unambiguous policies that provide the offshore wind sector with far greater certainty and market visibility. At the same time the sector itself has responded with remarkable innovations and cost reductions which now see it successfully competing with other energy sources.
“We will seek to maximise the benefits, locally and nationally, through increased UK content, new jobs and new opportunities for local businesses which, of course’ is further buoyed by the Humber having been granted Freeport Status.
“From a Company perspective we have long since embraced and understood the need to combat climate change and AMEP can be an integral part of a more sustainable future as we move towards net zero carbon emissions.”
The announcement has been widely welcomed in the region. Commented the MP for Cleethorpes Martin Vickers “This is great news for the Humber and the UK as a whole. I have long maintained that the Humber should be central to the UK’s offshore wind sector. This is now clearly recognised by Government and we are now empowered to bring this significant project to fruition, bringing with-it high-quality jobs for my constituents.”
Added Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP “This is very positive news for Greater Lincolnshire and an important element in the levelling up agenda. The funding announced today by BEIS will provide financial support towards the development of a major portside hub on the Able Marine Energy Park and strengthen the UKs manufacturing capacity in the offshore wind sector. Locally the funding will enable up to 3,000 jobs and facilitate significant international inward investment in the area. The Greater Lincolnshire LEP is committed to working with Able, and North Lincolnshire Council to facilitate investment from offshore wind companies, which will secure more jobs for local people, and significant opportunities for local businesses large and small to be further involved in the supply chain for the expanding sector.
On Friday, we also signed off a further £4.3m to support flood alleviation work in the area through the Governments’ Getting Building Fund, safeguarding existing and future jobs across the South Humber Gateway.”
Lord Haskins, the former Chair of the Humber LEP said “This has been a long and incredible journey and today’s announcement provides both a massive boost and opportunity for the Humber. The process has not always been straightforward and there have been a number of hurdles to clear. This represents the culmination of considerable grit and determination from the Able team and those of us that retained the belief that AMEP was a vital key to the area’s future success.”
NOTE FOR EDITORS: the first phase of AMEP works will see the development of up to 217ha (536 acres) of land and the construction of 1,349m of heavy-duty, deep-water quays. It is anticipated that facilities for manufactures will be constructed, including potentially for the Korean steel producer SeAH who could develop the UK’s first major monopile production facility.
AMEP’s primary activities will cover the manufacture, storage and installation of offshore wind components within a new ‘world-scale’ industrial cluster. The quays will provide four adjacent installation bases c. 75ha with a likely annual capacity to install c. 4GW of offshore wind power.
In terms of job creation, it is anticipated that by 2030, 1,500 direct on-site jobs will be created, along with 1,500 in the immediate supply chain.
ABLE commenced the AMEP land assembly process in 1999 and obtained the planning permission – through a Development Consent Order – in October 2014. To date, including land development and acquisition the Group has invested £282m at AMEP.