Siemens submits detailed Hull plan

Siemens has handed in detailed plans for its new offshore wind turbine manufacturing complex in Hull, northeast England, to the city council.

The submission is the next key step in the slow-burning £310m ($531m) plan at Associated British Ports' (ABP) 54-hectare Alexandra Dock site, which will see construction of a nacelle assembly plant for the OEM's giant 6MW SWT-6.0-154 turbines, while the units' 75-metre-long blades will be laid up at a fabrication hall in neighbouring Paull.

The facilities, the centrepiece of the Green Port Hull (GPH) development, will build some 300 machines a year for the UK offshore market, starting with Dong's 210MW Westermost Rough project off eastern England.

"The GPH and Paull project consists of many complex elements which will be developed as part of an overall programme of works in the coming months and years," a Siemens spokesman tells Recharge.

"The pre-construction phase includes planning and design, followed by the preparation of the sites by ABP to enable Siemens to build its facilities. This will then be followed by the fitting out of those facilities.

"As part of the programme for the development of the Alexandra Dock site, ABP has submitted applications to finalise planning approvals for harbour works. Siemens has submitted full planning applications for works for its facilities to be developed on Alexandra Dock."

First slated to be up and running by 2014-15, Siemens now foresees initial fabrication at the blade hall in 2016, with full production capacity at the whole complex reached by mid-2017.

The application states the Alexandra Dock plant will provide jobs for up to 1,000 staff at peak times in a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation.

Hull continues to be in the frame for future development by Siemens, with acreage open for tower and jacket fabrication facilities, as a well as a high-capacity nacelle manufacturing plant.

GPH benefits from an 11.5-metre draught and a tidal range of 3-8-metres, making it a good fit for the largest turbine installation vessels.

Applications for the Paull site will be made later in 2014.