A £450m marine energy park that will revitalise the Humber area has been given the go-ahead by the government.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin today approved plans for the Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) at Able Humber Port on the south bank of the Humber, which will provide state-of-the-art quayside facilities for the manufacture, assembly and installation of offshore renewable technologies.
Construction will begin early next year with the quay being available from late 2016, and the developers expect the park to create up to 4,000 jobs and a cluster of renewable energy companies, supplying components for offshore wind turbines.
Able founder and executive chairman Peter Stephenson said: “During the public hearings into our plans for AMEP, its significance was compared to the impact of the Nissan development in the North East and this is no exaggeration.
“It provides the opportunity, not available at any other UK location, to create a critical mass of activity – not only producing wind turbines and their foundations but also providing a base for offshore installation.
“The Humber is ideally placed in close proximity to the world’s largest proposed offshore wind farms and, coupled with the scale of the site, the inherent strengths of local people and local businesses, we have the very best package to offer the emerging offshore wind sector.”
The AMEP is at the centre of the largest Enterprise Zone in the UK, which covers both sides of the Humber and will offer businesses 1,289m of new heavy-duty, deep-water quays and 366.7 hectares (906 acres) of developable land designed specifically for firms involved in the manufacture, storage, assembly and deployment of next generation offshore wind turbines.
Austrian offshore wind turbine foundation manufacturer Strabag has already identified AMEP as its preferred location for its 500-job European production facility and last week signed a memorandum of understanding with AMEP.
“This is a real cause for celebration in this season of good cheer, not just for Able Marine Energy Park, but for the whole offshore wind sector in the UK,” said deputy chief executive of industry body RenewableUK Maf Smith.
“This announcement could be the catalyst for further investment in the region. Alongside recent announcements of investment in Grimsby, this shows how offshore wind is bringing real opportunities to regions like the Humber.
“Offshore wind, and the supply chain it is building, could create tens of thousands of green-collar jobs to coastline communities in areas where they’re needed most”.