Huge green jobs windfall for the North-East and Yorkshire


More than 1,000 jobs will be created and safeguarded across the North-East of England and the Humber in a UK offshore wind production boom thanks to more than £180 million of private investment, Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced today (Wednesday, 7 July).

On top of their own private investment, offshore wind manufacturers SeAH Wind Ltd and Smulders Projects UK will each receive grant funding out of the £160 million Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme, announced by the Prime Minister last year as part of his Ten Point Plan to build factories that will develop components for next generation wind turbines.

Located on the Humber and at Wallsend in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the two manufacturers will substantially boost the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing base in our industrial heartlands, supplying essential components to offshore wind farms across the UK – as well as for export around the world.

The Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme is designed to support the delivery of manufacturing investment in the offshore wind supply chain. It provides grant funding for major investments in the manufacture of strategically important offshore wind components, from turbine blades to sea cables.

SeAH Wind Ltd will receive funding towards a new £117 million monopile foundation factory at the Able Marine Energy Park on the Humber, creating up to 750 direct jobs by 2030.

Smulders Projects UK will receive funding towards a £70 million investment in new equipment and infrastructure to enable the manufacture of offshore wind turbine transition pieces at their existing site in Wallsend, Newcastle, creating and safeguarding up to 325 direct jobs.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

Wind is one of the UK’s greatest natural assets and we’re a world-leader in offshore wind energy. With the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, we are determined to grow and nurture a strong, world-class manufacturing base so British businesses and our workforce can fully seize the economic benefits being a windy island nation brings.

Today’s investments will not only put the wind in the sails of the UK’s industrial heartlands, creating and supporting thousands of good quality jobs, they will also benefit the whole of Britain as we work to onshore more manufacturers, attract inward investment and ramp up export opportunities.

The investment announced today will be a huge boost to local economies in the North-East and Humber, with more than 1,000 direct jobs and a similar number of indirect jobs being created and safeguarded, helping to revitalise UK industrial heartlands and bring in vital investment opportunities.

Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone said:

The UK is well-established as having the largest offshore wind capacity of any country on the planet. These investments highlight how we are building a manufacturing base that reflects our position as a world leader in this key technology and the attractiveness of the UK’s clean energy sector to international investors.

UK workers will be building the next generation of wind turbines that will not only help us meet our own climate change commitments but will be exported and can power countries all over the globe in a cleaner greener future.

Today’s announcement is a big leap forward in delivering the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution and meeting his target of quadrupling the UK’s offshore wind capacity to produce 40GW of energy from offshore wind by 2030 – enough to power every home in the country.

This continues to lay the groundwork for British businesses and workers to take full advantage of the booming offshore market in the UK and internationally, support up to 60,000 jobs in the industry, and help eliminate the UK’s contribution to carbon emissions by 2050.

Joosung Lee, COO of SeAH Steel Holdings Corporation, said:

Based on the active support and trust from the UK government, it is meaningful for SeAH that investment toward the monopile factory is in full swing.

Today’s funding swiftly follows another announcement made in March this year when the government announced up to £95 million investment to establish 2 new ports on the Humber and on Teesside to enable manufacturers to build the next generation of offshore wind projects.

Together these new ports will have the capacity to house up to 7 manufacturers to support the development of the next-generation offshore wind projects, substantially boosting the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing base while directly creating around 3,000 new jobs each.

In addition, US energy giant GE Renewable Energy have announced an investment in a major new offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing plant, the first investment on Teesside. This brand new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will directly create around 750 jobs in the area to supply the Dogger Bank Wind Farm project.

Elected Mayor of North Tyneside Norma Redfearn CBE said:

I am delighted to hear about this significant investment in the borough, which will create and protect jobs and have benefits for the wider region.

Wallsend and the River Tyne have a rich industrial heritage and this latest investment will complement the Council’s own plans, through our Ambition for North Tyneside vision, to continue to breathe new life into the river by working to create more and better jobs for our residents while helping businesses grow.

We have worked closely with Smulders Projects to support their presence in the borough and help them establish themselves on the Tyne.

Cllr Rob Waltham MBE, leader, North Lincolnshire Council and chair of the Humber Leaders’ Board, said:

This is a globally-significant investment which will be instrumental in creating well-paid, highly-skilled, sustainable jobs. It is a huge opportunity and I welcome the clear commitment from government to levelling-up.

This latest cash is additional evidence of government confidence in our plans which we have designed to create jobs and increase prosperity across the area.

Changes to the UK’s flagship renewable energy support scheme, Contracts for Difference (CfD), are also being announced today, building on government ambitions to onshore manufacturing in renewable energy projects, expand industrial capacity and improve competitiveness.

The government’s main tool to ensure CfDs grow the low-carbon economy, harness innovation and drive regional growth are Supply Chain Plans, which are assessed in a questionnaire before a project can compete in a CfD auction.

Upgrades to the CfD scheme announced today will help the offshore wind industry deliver on its Sector Deal commitment to ensure that 60% of the manufacturing for wind farm projects should be based in the UK and completed by UK workers by 2030.

Under the reforms announced today, the Secretary of State for Business and Energy, Kwasi Kwarteng, has the ability to terminate a contract as a last resort if generators do not fulfil the Supply Chain Plan commitments they have made.

See the government response to the consultation on the Contracts for Difference Supply Chain Plan Questionnaire.


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