UK Invests in Two New Ports for Offshore Wind Component Manufacturing

UK investing in new ports for wind power manufacturing
rendering of the new facilities at Teesside (courtesy of LM Wind Power)

Published Mar 11, 2021 6:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

The UK Government announced plans to invest nearly $133 million for two new offshore wind ports to build the component for the country’s growing number of projects. These investments are part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution to quadruple the UK’s offshore wind capacity to produce 40GW of energy by 2030.

Speaking about the two ports, Johnson said the investments, “will put the wind in the sails of our new green industrial revolution, building the next generation of offshore wind turbines whilst creating 6,000 new green jobs in the process.” He called the projects a major step towards producing clean, cheap energy. Once completed, he said the two ports will have the capacity to support the development of up to 9GW of energy offshore wind projects each year, enough electricity to power around eight million homes.

The two new ports, which will be located on the Humber and Teesside, will be focused on building the next generation of offshore wind projects. Construction will begin later this year to upgrade the two historic industrial ports with new infrastructure and when completed these new ports will have the capacity to house up to seven manufacturers working on components for the offshore wind projects. The Prime Minister also forecast that the two ports would increase the UK’s competitive standing in the offshore industry on the global stage.

As part of the announcement, GE Renewable Energy joined the Prime Minister to announce that the company plans to build a new factory at a former steelworks site in the new Teesside port. The manufacturing facility, which will produce offshore wind blades, is due to open and start production in 2023. The blades produced by GE Renewables will be supplied to the Dogger Bank wind farm, located off the North East coast, which when completed in 2026 will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world, capable of powering up to six million homes.

“The offshore wind sector is a major British industrial success story, providing cheap, green electricity while supporting thousands of good-quality jobs,” said Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. “While the UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, we are determined to ensure we are fully capturing the economic benefits in this country.”

The British government officials predicted that these investments will significantly speed up the development of the next generation of wind turbines in the UK and will be gateways to the rest of the world. They expect the ports will contribute to the development of an industrial cluster dedicated to offshore wind in the North East of England.