E.ON to create 50 Grimsby jobs in Humber Gateway wind farm project
FIFTY new jobs are to be created in Grimsby after another major offshore wind farm operator announced plans to set up a permanent base in the town.
E.ON, which is behind the Humber Gateway wind farm being constructed off the East Yorkshire coast, has submitted a planning application to build an operations and maintenance facility on Grimsby Docks.
The announcement further cements Grimsby's position as a pre-eminent location for offshore wind operations and maintenance, with Centrica and Siemens already having established a permanent presence in the town.
The proposed facility, which will be built on derelict land on North Quay Road within the renewables enterprise zone, will accommodate 15 shore-based staff and 35 offshore maintenance workers to service the Humber Gateway wind farm.
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Tim Handley, engineering manager for Humber Gateway at E.ON, said: "Grimsby is an excellent location for the operations and maintenance base for our Humber Gateway offshore wind farm, not only because it is the closest dock to the site, but it also provides good links into the local infrastructure and transport networks.
"If we're given approval to proceed with this proposal, it will also give us an opportunity to redevelop a site which has been derelict and disused for a number of years."
Chris Holden, chairman of the Grimsby Renewables Partnership, expressed his delight at the decision.
He said: "We see it as a clear sign that the port of Grimsby is the right place for major utilities to come and do business.
"Grimsby is the first port on the Humber, it is in close vicinity to the Humber Gateway offshore wind farm and the port itself has great infrastructure in terms of engineering, skills, road and rail access.
"It cements Grimsby's position as the place to operate in what we call the southern North Sea. With Centrica being here and E.ON now submitting this planning application it shows other operators that this is the right place to be for anybody in the offshore wind sector."
Jason Longhurst, head of development at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "We are delighted that E.ON recognise the benefits of the Port of Grimsby East and this confirms the important role Grimsby holds in the overall Humber renewables offer.
"If approved, this adds to established names such as Siemens, Centrica and RES who have all chosen Grimsby as locations for servicing the offshore wind farms in the North Sea and we look forward to working with E.ON over the coming months."
Roger Smith, marine operations manager at the Port of Grimsby East, said: "It is tremendous news that another blue chip company has decided to operate out of Grimsby and it cements Grimsby as an operations and maintenance base for the offshore wind industry.
"There is no doubt that the renewables sector is growing year on year and hopefully it won't stop here."
The proposed development will comprise a 1200sq metre operations and maintenance building and a 400sq metre storage building.
If planning permission is granted, work is expected to get underway by the third quarter of this year, with completion due before the end of the year.
The 219 megawatt Humber Gateway offshore wind farm, located off the Holderness coast, is in the early stages of construction and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2015.
Comprising 73 wind turbines, it will generate enough electricity to power up to 170,000 homes.