Siemens Gamesa, the world’s leader in the offshore wind industry, is to invest £186 million to upgrade and expand its offshore wind turbine blade factory in Hull, creating 200 jobs.
The firm will receive grant funding from the Government’s £160 million Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme to develop manufacturing facilities in the Humber region, supplying essential components to offshore wind farms across the UK – as well as for export around the world.
Siemens Gamesa also confirmed that plans for the factory expansion filed earlier in 2021 would proceed.
The expansion will enable manufacturing of next-generation offshore wind turbine blades. An additional 41,600 square meters will more than double the size of plant, with construction planned to be completed in 2023.
It will remain the largest offshore wind manufacturing facility in the UK, growing to 77,600 square meters, and 200 additional direct jobs will be added to the workforce of about 1,000 already on site at Alexandra Dock. With planning permission already in place, construction is due to begin within weeks.
Clark MacFarlane, UK managing director of Siemens Gamesa, said: “Our investment in our existing offshore blade factory, logistics, and harbour facilities in Hull has been a key driver of the growth of the UK’s world-leading offshore wind industry.
“We are proud to commit our long-term future in Hull and the Humber, providing safe, clean-energy workplaces which also contribute to the decarbonisation of the UK’s energy supply. As we work towards unlocking the potential of wind power, we applaud the UK Government’s strong and consistent support for offshore wind.”
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “With its close proximity to some of the world’s largest offshore wind farms and strong skills base, the Humber region is vitally important for the growth of British offshore wind and is at the heart of our green recovery.
“This joint £186 million investment from government and Siemens Gamesa will give a boost to this important industrial heartland, creating and supporting thousands of good quality jobs across the region while ensuring it is on the frontline of developing the next generation of offshore wind turbines and blades.”
The Siemens Gamesa offshore wind turbine blade factory officially opened in December 2016, and has manufactured more than 1,500 wind turbine blades for customers in the UK and Europe. Around 97% of the employees at Siemens Gamesa in Hull live within a 30-mile radius of the city, providing significant economic benefits to the area.
Additionally, three complete offshore wind power plants have been dispatched from the Siemens Gamesa development in Hull. Additional activities including assembly of offshore wind turbine towers and loading of the specialised offshore wind installation vessels.
Among current projects receiving blades from Hull is Hornsea Two for customer Ørsted off the Yorkshire coast. When complete in 2022, the 1.4 GW Hornsea Two will be the world’s largest offshore wind power plant, with 165 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD offshore wind turbines providing clean electricity to power more than 1.3 million homes.
Selection of construction partners to deliver the new factory is currently under way. Manufacturing of other offshore wind turbine blade types already in the Siemens Gamesa Hull factory pipeline will continue while the expansion is constructed. In total, Siemens Gamesa has an offshore wind power order backlog of €9.4 billion as announced during its Q3 FY21 results presentation on July 30, 2021.