UK: DONG Energy Gets GBP 1.1 Million for Offshore Wind O&M Bases
Hundreds of new jobs are set to be created in North East Lincolnshire after Danish utility giant DONG Energy was awarded up to £1.1m from the ‘Growing the Humber’ Regional Growth Fund.
The fund is run by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and North East Lincolnshire Council and supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
The grant will aid the firm’s £11.5m plan to establish their offshore engineering and operations and maintenance bases at the Port of Grimsby and the Royal Dock on the Humber’s south bank.
An estimated 100 direct jobs are expected to be created by March 2016 with at least another 100 to come later as part of ongoing developments.
In addition, more than 475 indirect jobs are set to be created in vessel and offshore related services in the borough over the next few years.
DONG Energy’s ambitious proposal is to set up an offshore engineering and an operations and maintenance base to support the construction and operation of its Westermost Rough offshore wind farm in the North Sea. As the UK’s leading centre for operations and maintenance, the Port of Grimsby is the closest port in steaming distance to the North Sea wind farms and is already home to other leading operators including Siemens, Centrica, E.ON and RES Offshore.
DONG Energy’s facilities at the Port of Grimsby include offices for staff and also berthing pontoons for operations and maintenance craft which are designed to host up to 12 vessels.
The £1.1m grant was successfully awarded through the £30m Growing the Humber Regional Growth Fund (RGF) which has attracted more than 220 expressions of interest across the Humber after it was launched in February this year.
DONG Energy is one of the first companies to benefit from the ring fenced funding for south bank renewables projects and the investment is expected to have a large impact on the local supply chain.
Cllr Chris Shaw, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Our vision is for the Humber to be a leading force in the international renewable energy industry. With our location, our expertise and maritime traditions, North East Lincolnshire is in the perfect position to lead the way in operations and maintenance for offshore wind. DONG Energy’s ambitious proposal is set to bring hundreds of direct and indirect jobs to the borough and furthers our drive to make the Humber the UK’s energy estuary. The awarding of this funding is a positive step in helping to secure DONG Energy’s investment in Grimsby and we look forward to their confirmation of this commitment.”
Jason Longhurst, head of development at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the area and demonstrates how international players have the confidence to invest in North East Lincolnshire, and can see both the current and future potential here, cementing the Humber’s status as Europe’s emerging centre for renewables.
“Funding schemes such as RGF are important to attract and enable development and investment which will have a positive impact on the local economy with the creation of jobs and private sector investment and opportunities through the supply chains. We look forward to working with DONG Energy in the future.”
Duncan Clark, Programme Director for Westermost Rough at DONG Energy, said: “This project is our first in Grimsby and we’re looking forward to working with the Council, Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and the community in Grimsby as we move forward with our plans to build our base here and use the grant to further increase our investment in the area.”
Growing the Humber supports projects such as capital investment in land, buildings and machinery, research and development projects and workforce development.
Growing the Humber is managed by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and North East Lincolnshire Council which is also the accountable body for the scheme. It was awarded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to unlock the development and growth of the area and create sustainable jobs.
Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership said:
“It’s great news that our Investment Board has approved this Regional Growth Fund Grant for DONG Energy’s proposed development which will bring direct and indirect jobs to the Humber.
“The move further strengthens Grimsby’s position as a UK centre for Operations and Maintenance offshore support activity, which is playing a key part in the Humber’s growth as the UK’s energy estuary.
“The project is a great example of how the LEP’s £30m Growing the Humber programme can support growth working with our local authority partners.”
Press Release, August 16, 2013