Biggest Wind Blades Maker Plans to Double UK Factory to Meet Demand
World’s largest offshore wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa is set to invest $257.9 million to expand its factory in the U.K. as it positions itself to take advantage of the growing offshore wind market.
Under the investment plan, the offshore blade factory in Hull, England will more than doubling the size of the manufacturing facility with the addition of more than 400,000 additional square feet. When the expansion is completed in 2023, the plant will grow to more than 835,000 square feet and add 200 additional direct jobs to the approximately 1,000 person-workforce already in place.
“The rapid development of the offshore wind industry – and continued, strong, long-term support provided by the UK government for offshore wind – has enabled us to power ahead with confidence when making these plans. We’re committed to unlocking the potential of wind energy around the globe, with solutions from Hull playing a vital role,” said Marc Becker, Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit CEO.
Siemens Gamesa reckons the expansion of the facility will enable manufacturing of next-generation offshore wind turbine blades not only for the U.K. which is the world’s leading offshore wind market but also for global clients.
The world is witnessing an exponential surge in offshore wind driven by an unprecedented shift towards clean green energy. BloombergNEF data shows that total investment in the offshore wind sector rose to $50 billion in 2020, up from $32 billion in 2019. The UK remains the top spot globally for offshore wind capacity with almost 11 GW installed capacity and the government is pursuing a goal to reach 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, the most ambitious offshore wind target in Europe.
“Through safe, efficient and reliable manufacturing, over 1,500 blades from Hull have been delivered to customers worldwide. We’re very much looking forward to adding to this capacity in the future,” noted Becker.
Manufacturing of offshore wind turbine blades already in the pipeline in the Hull factory that opened in 2016 will continue while the expansion is being undertaken.
Siemens Gamesa is grappling with an offshore wind power order backlog of $13 billion.
The company reckons the order book is evident that it is well placed to capture the potential of the wind industry driven by an increase in decarbonization commitments and the role of renewable energy in economic recovery programs.