Energy firm's base 'is great for Grimsby'
INVESTMENT in lock gate modifications to the tune of £800,000 has demonstrated the "commitment and drive of Grimsby to be part of the renewable industry moving forward".
The ringing endorsement of the town's can-do attitude came from the latest entrant to the port's burgeoning operations and maintenance sector, E.on's project manager Dave Moseley.
Having heard how North East Lincolnshire Council had poured £500,000 into works that will allow larger vessels to negotiate the entrance to Port of Grimsby East – he vowed to work with local companies as Humber Gateway wind farm is built, and then operated, by people working out of the town.
Mr Moseley said: "We are very happy to establish our operations base here, which we are just starting to build.
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"We are really pleased to be part of Grimsby, a nucleus of operations bases for a number of offshore wind farms. We are bringing up to 50 jobs, investment is coming in to the port, and along with that, we will be looking for services and suppliers from around Grimsby.
"We will be holding open days to meet with future suppliers – local businesses – to see what we can do. We look forward to a very long future working in Grimsby."
The confirmation that contractors were on site on North Quay yesterday was greeted warmly by the gathered dignitaries.
Illustrated here for the first time, it is the first base to be created in the port's allocated enterprise zone.
Mr Moseley said it will be built by summer, in readiness for the bulk of the offshore construction, just a few miles off Spurn.
Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises has supported the works, and also invested £150,000 into securing E.on's site.
Including the £500,000 from the Change programme, it represents an investment of well over £1 million to improve the gates and net E.on.
Martyn Boyers, chief executive of GFDE, said: "The increase in offshore renewable activity represents an opportunity for business, for the community and for the creation of jobs. Potentially there is a lot more to come.
"Ports need to progress and this deal demonstrates collaboration. It is good for E.on, it is good for ABP and it is great for Grimsby."
‘Another exciting day for Port of Grimsby’
Associated British Ports project managed the modernisation and extension of the lock gates.
John Fitzgerald, port director for Grimsby and Immingham, said: “This is another really exciting day for Port of Grimsby.
“There have been quite a few recently, from the modernisation of the fish market to the arrival of the Centrica building, there has been a lot going on.
“We are also building the first riverside terminal in Grimsby, which is the largest investment in the Port of Grimsby since it was built.
“That too will be opening in the summer.
“It is a really exciting place to work at the moment. It has had its challenges in the past, and we are under no illusions there is still a long way to go, but when we have quality customers like E.on, looking at the long term, having them here in Grimsby, it is a great testament to the services provided here, and the ambition that we, together with Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises, and with the local authority particularly, harbour to ensure this port is the centre of offshore operations and maintenance.”
THE opening of a set of lock gates in Grimsby on a cold, dank and wet Friday afternoon – not an event that would normally attract a big crowd.
But that is exactly what it did do yesterday afternoon as scores of people – MPs, company bosses, media, councillors, marketing executives – all crammed into what was once, and still is, the HQ for the town’s fishing industry.
Once inside, the offices look out onto the old fish docks and what you see is a constant movement of modern-looking vessels, moving in and out.
This is proof, if you need it, that a new dawn has broken and is attracting a lot of attention.
There may be wind farm sceptics out there, but such folk would have been well and truly silenced if they had witnessed this event yesterday afternoon.
Grimsby needs this – but what is equally as important is for those who live here to understand that this is here and is happening, right under their very noses, offering new opportunity for North East Lincolnshire and its neighbours.
Follow the editor on Twitter @michellelalor