It’s Grimsby up north as the centre for Dong’s £6bn wind energy plan

Danish energy company says former English fishing town facility will be a 'game-changing industry first' as it bids to turn region into a major hub for offshore wind sector.
Generally regarded as a neglected northern English backwater, Grimsby is afflicted by poverty and unemployment. But as part of a major investment by Dong Energy, the town is set to become the centre of a major wind energy hub. Phil Noble / Reuters
Generally regarded as a neglected northern English backwater, Grimsby is afflicted by poverty and unemployment. But as part of a major investment by Dong Energy, the town is set to become the centre of a major wind energy hub. Phil Noble / Reuters

England’s north-east coastal town of Grimsby is set to become a hub for the offshore wind industry after Dong Energy said it would build a facility at the former fishing port at the mouth of the river Humber and invest about £6 billion (Dh28.8bn) in the region by 2019.

The Danish energy company, which has installed more wind turbines at sea than anyone else, plans to expand its presence in Grimsby, it said. It will build a “multi-million pound” facility on land owned by Associated British Ports, allowing it to service at least three of its future wind farms in the North Sea.

The hub, which could be completed in 2018, will be located about 40km from where Siemens has invested £160 million in a blade-manufacturing facility in Hull about 55km south, helping to raise the profile of the Humber region as a key investment spot for the industry.

“This new operational hub in Grimsby will be a game-changing industry first, raising the bar for the way we serve offshore wind farms,” said Brent Cheshire, the UK chairman for Dong.

The hub will host service boats designed by Rolls-Royce Holdings that will allow technicians to remain at sea for at least a month, improving the rate at which turbines can be serviced. The vessels include a gangway for easy access to the turbines, removing the need for technicians to scale the towers on ladders. The first vessel, built by Norway’s Ostensjo Rederi, will arrive late 2017, according to Dong.

If the project secures planning permission, the hub will service the Dong’s Westermost Rough, Race Bank and Hornsea Project One offshore wind farms, as well as future projects nearby, according to the company.

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Published: September 22, 2016 04:00 AM

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