Siemens go for UK turbine factory

Siemens will invest more than €190m ($263m) in new offshore production facilities in Great Britain, including for the production of rotor blades for 6MW turbines and a logistics and service centre in Hull.

The Hull facility will also include final assembly of the 6MW wind turbine, a Siemens press official confirmed to Recharge.

The blade plant will be at Paull in East Riding. it will be the first manufacturing plant designed for the 75-metre blades that will power the 6MW machines.

The twin-site announcement, creating up to 1,000 jobs, means Siemens will have a bigger presence in the northeast England than was expected in 2011 when it first unveiled plans for manufacturing at the Port of Hull.

“Our decision to construct a production facility for offshore wind turbines in England is part of our global strategy: we invest in markets with reliable conditions that can ensure that factories can work to capacity,” says Michael Süß, chief executive of Siemens’ Energy Sector.

“British energy policy creates a favourable framework for the expansion of offshore wind energy.”

Siemens and its British partner Associated British Ports (ABP) will be investing a total of €371m at the project sites. The investments will create 550 direct jobs in rotor blade production and 450 in Green Port Hull, while more jobs will follow in the construction and supply industry.

“Our constructive political environment enables us to provide new jobs for the wind power industry, together with a reliable and more sustainable energy mix,” UK prime minister David Cameron said. Siemens’s Süß and Cameron will announce the investment officially this afternoon in a joint statement.

Green Port Hull is scheduled to take up operations at the beginning of 2016, with commencement of rotor production scheduled for the summer of 2016. Full capacity of the factory is to be reached starting at mid-2017.

Wind power capacity has doubled in the UK within two years, to roughly 10GW, Siemens says. By 2020, a capacity of 14GW is to be installed at sea alone to combine the country’s environmental objectives with secure power supply. Projects for just over 40GW are currently in the long-term planning, the German industrial giant claims.