Siemens (Munich, Germany) reported on March 25 that it is investing more than €190 million in new offshore production facilities in Great Britain. Production of rotor blades for offshore wind turbines of the 6-MW class is planned, with a new logistics and service center slated for Hull, in northeast England on River Humber near the North Sea.
Siemens and its British partner Associated British Ports (ABP) will invest a total of €371 million at the project sites. These investments will bolster the strong offshore market in Great Britain and will likewise stimulate the country’s job market: 1,000 will be created directly, with 550 of these in rotor blade production and 450 in Green Port Hull. Other jobs will follow in the construction industry and emerge indirectly in the supply industry.
Siemens is a major supplier for wind turbines, grid connection and service for onshore and offshore sites in Great Britain. The company has installed more than 2,200 turbines onshore and offshore there in the world’s most significant wind power market with a total capacity of more than 5,000 MW. Hence, around half of the wind power capacity installed in Great Britain is equipped with cutting-edge technology from Siemens. Siemens has a workforce of around 14,000 in Great Britain, 1,500 of whom are employed in the British wind power business.
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 by mid-2017. These investments will support Great Britain in its endeavors to pursue its environmental objectives and to satisfy one fourth of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2020.
“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. The British energy policy creates a favorable framework for the expansion of offshore wind energy. In particular, it recognizes the potential of offshore wind energy within the overall portfolio of energy production,” says Michael Suess, member of the managing board of Siemens AG and CEO of the Energy Sector. The offshore wind market in Great Britain has high growth rates, with an even greater potential for the future. Wind power capacity has doubled here within two years, to roughly 10 gigawatts. By 2020, a capacity of 14 gigawatts is to be installed at sea alone to combine the country’s environmental objectives with secure power supply. Projects for just over 40 gigawatts are currently in the long-term planning.
Siemens has posted a video on YouTube that depicts B75 blade construction: