40 energy jobs could be created in Grimsby as wind farm giant Dong sets sights on town
DANISH wind farm giant Dong Energy expects to create up to 40 jobs in Grimsby, as it confirmed it is looking to locate a new operations and maintenance base in the town.
The state-owned company wholly owns Westermost Rough, the £800-million Round Two offshore development located just off the East Yorkshire coast.
Last week it announced it is to start construction of the 35-turbine farm in early 2014.
And today it confirmed to the Telegraph it wants to run the 210-megawatt site – capable of powering up to 200,000 homes – from Grimsby.
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Rune Birk Nielsen, a spokesman for Dong Energy, said: "We do expect to locate an operations and maintenance base in the harbour in Grimsby, though it is not yet a final decision.
"We also expect that approximately 30 to 40 employees will be part of that operations and maintenance team."
He added that further development work was being carried out in terms of the siting of such a base, and all the issues surrounding it.
It is the first public indication that Grimsby is the port of choice, and has been welcomed in the town, where enterprise zone status has been granted to areas to encourage inward investment.
Chris Holden, chairman of Grimsby Renewables Partnership, said: "This is absolutely fantastic news. The opportunities that are going to come along underlines what we have been saying for the last four or five years, that this place is the place where jobs are going to come to.
"This is the place where the blue chip businesses, the leaders in the industry, have chosen to operate wind farms from."
The company is no stranger to the town, as it is a 33 per cent stakeholder in the Round Two Lincs offshore wind farm, for which the lead partner, Centrica, has established a £3 million operations and maintenance base on the North Wall.
Jason Longhurst, head of development at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "The Westermost Rough announcement from Dong Energy is excellent news and a fantastic start to 2013.
"We are delighted to have been able to give our proactive support to this investment and will continue the dialogue with Dong Energy."
Councillor Chris Shaw, the leader of NELC, said: "We very much welcome the news that Dong Energy is to build Westermost Rough within a short sailing distance from the Port of Grimsby. This is great news for our residents and businesses potentially creating jobs and boosting our local economy."
Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for regeneration and environment, added: "The investment in Westermost Rough demonstrates how through proactively working with partners we can achieve so much more and facilitate real investment, development and growth in North East Lincolnshire."
As previously reported, E.on – currently conducting further tests at the Humber Gateway site – another Round Two development just off Spurn Point, has planning approval for an operations and maintenance base in Grimsby, with a further 50 jobs likely to be created.
It comes on the eve of the launch of the £10-million ring-fenced fund to aid the South Bank's renewables industry, part of the £30 million Government Regional Growth Fund grant secured by NELC and Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.
A recommendation from the Planning Inspectorate on Able Marine Energy Park at North Killingholme – a site capable of hosting several turbine manufacturers and elements of the supply chain – is also expected this month.