UK wind turbine manufacture by Siemens

This article was published in the April 2014 issue of the INSIDER:

In a new manufacturing investment in Hull and Humberside, on the northeast coast of the UK, the Siemens Energy business and Associated British Ports will together invest a total of GBP310m ($500m) in two manufacturing sites, which will create up to 1000 jobs. The project to redevelop this part of the old fishing docks in Hull, known as Green Port Hull, was started some five years ago by the last Government. In fact Siemens have now expanded their original plans, and will invest in a second site nearby at Paull, creating a plant for the manufacture of wind turbine blades incorporating the next-generation of blade technology.

This plant will be the first manufacturing plant of its kind, and involves GBP80m of the GBP160m ($265m) Siemens is investing. Each blade will be 75 metres long: when rotating they will cover an area the size of 2.5 football pitches. The Green Port Hull facility will also involve an investment of GBP150m ($250m) by Associated British Ports, and will create a construction, assembly and service facility for Siemens wind turbines.

The Siemens view

Dr Michael Suess, member of the managing board of Siemens and chief executive of their energy business, said: “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 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 10GW. 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.”

Roland Aurich, chief executive of Siemens in the UK, said: “Being able to further increase our presence in the UK with this significant commitment is great for Siemens, for the UK economy and for future generations, who will benefit from more secure and sustainable, low carbon energy.” Siemens employs about 13,700 workers in the UK, with 4000 of these in the energy sector.

The outlook

UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey told the BBC (after a winter of storms): “Offshore wind is producing 80-85% of the time. We are the leading country in the world for offshore (wind) investment.” The Siemens news is a fillip for the wind power enthusiasts, who have recently seen offshore farms scaled back for various reasons, including the danger they pose to rare species of migrating birds. The typical price for power generated by new offshore wind farms in the UK is GBP100 per MWh, about twice the current price for power in the UK, with the difference subsidized by levies on consumer energy bills.

Regular news on Process Automation and Control topics is presented in the INSIDER monthly newsletter, supplied on subscription by Spitzer and Boyes LLC: Nick Denbow is the European correspondent for the INSIDER. For more information please consulthttp://www.iainsider.co.uk or http://www.spitzerandboyes.com

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