The opening event is taking place at the Port of Grimsby on Friday 8th March with refreshments and networking starting at 12.45pm and a joint announcement at 1.30pm.
The extension to the Port of Grimsby lock gates is a significant infrastructure development and means there is now an increase in capacity for the movement of vessels in and out of the Port, extending its capabilities. All of this was crucial in order to clinch a deal which sees energy company E.ON site the Operations and Maintenance base for their Humber Gateway offshore wind farm at the Port of Grimsby.
The E.ON development is also the first to start work on the Port of Grimsby’s Enterprise Zone site which offers benefits including fast-track planning and business rate discount.
The project was delivered in partnership and is a vital improvement to the infrastructure of the Port of Grimsby to support the emerging renewables industry and attract new investors. The work could not have been carried out without the £500,000 investment towards the project awarded through North East Lincolnshire Council’s Change programme.
The Lock Gate improvements are vital to the renewables sector as the port has now increased capacity for the movement of longer, larger vessels into the port which provide essential maintenance to the wind farms being constructed off of the East Coast. The project will also enable a higher number of smaller vessels to enter and leave the dock. This will create a huge potential to secure new investment in the offshore wind sector in North East Lincolnshire and allow the area to support the new and emerging industries looking to invest in the area.
Martyn Boyers, Chief Executive of GFDE said:
“We are delighted to have worked with the ‘Change Board’ in developing a Lock Gate extension. The increase in capacity was a crucial part of the project. We are also grateful to the support of ABP in bringing about these initiatives. This collaboration shows the strength of the Port and underlines the opportunities to come.”
Dave Moseley, Project Manager, E.ON said:
“The site has been disused for a number of years and it is good to see it redeveloped. The facility, which will support the construction, operation and maintenance of the Humber Gateway wind farm, is currently under construction and is due to be complete this summer. Up to 50 jobs will also be created by the site.”
John Fitzgerald, Port Director of ABP Grimsby and Immingham said:
“E.ON’s decision to commit to Grimsby underlines the growing reputation our Port has for being the preferred choice for Europe’s leading offshore wind companies when they plan their Operations and Maintenance servicing strategy. The Lock Gate capacity upgrade and other likely infrastructure developments over the coming years will establish the Port of Grimsby at the centre of this exciting new business opportunity. “
Jason Longhurst, Head of Development, said:
”The lock gate extension is a crucial investment in the infrastructure of North East Lincolnshire. We are firmly committed to proactively working in partnership to offer the support required to enable the area to become the leading offshore operations and maintenance hub in the UK and Europe. The arrival of E.ON and the work they are starting on the Enterprise Zone is also excellent news and this development was enabled by working in partnership to deliver the lock gate extension.
“On-going investment within this area can significantly benefit local businesses and communities bringing jobs and wealth into North East Lincolnshire and enabling the development of the Port of Grimsby and working towards achieving sustainable economic growth for the Humber and Lincolnshire.”
The lock gates improvement and arrival of companies such as E.ON builds on recent good news stories regarding DONG Energy planning to build the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm, which could see the Grimsby become the base for DONG Energy’s operations and maintenance activities, subject to receiving the required support. RES, Siemens and Centrica have already chosen to invest in the area and are operating out of the Port of Grimsby.
The Environment Agency also announced it has committed to provide £14.5 million in government funding to improve flood defences in Grimsby, protecting homes and businesses and a £30 million “Growing the Humber” Regional Growth Fund (RGF) “scheme has recently launched for businesses based in North East Lincolnshire.