Now, over five years later, the city finds itself 28 weeks into 119 week construction period to create the UK’s largest offshore wind manufacturing, assembly and installation facility on the Port of Hull’s Alexandra Dock and the project is right on track to ensure that wind turbines will be leaving the site by early 2017.
The Siemens development represents Hull’s biggest ever package of inward investment – £310 million is being spent jointly by Siemens and ABP, and the facility will create 1,000 much-needed jobs.
Responsibility for this initial construction phase and the enabling works, which began at the end of 2014 and involved ensuring the site is ready for Siemens to begin building its facilities, rests with ABP, which has invested £130 million and appointed main contractor GRAHAM Lagan Construction Group JV to ensure the work is carried out to the highest possible standard.
Following an official ground breaking event in January, all demolition work is now complete, with many steel-framed buildings meticulously disassembled for use elsewhere, while concrete has been recycled for use during the construction process.
The first marine piles are now in place and a temporary structure will be used for the mooring of dredging vessels, which will pipe in nearly one million cubic metres of sand for the infill of approximately 16 acres of the western end of Alexandra Dock. This infill activity will start in early summer.
ABP Head of Projects Simon Brett is responsible for the delivery of the initial construction phase of the development.
He said: “The project is going very well. For something of this magnitude, from a construction point of view, we are on schedule and things are looking good for the completion date.
“The JV is working incredibly hard, as is the ABP project team and its partners at Siemens and the City Council. Obviously this project is incredibly important to the city and the wider region and we are very much under the microscope so it’s very pleasing to be able to say that things are going well.”
As well as the demolition work, marine piles and the infill activity, a new public right of way has also been built, which will take pedestrians and cyclists around the ‘back’ of the Alexandra Dock site. This facility will be landscaped and will include seating areas, as well as viewing areas so users can see construction taking place and the Siemens facility when it’s complete. Artwork and information boards will also be installed to add interest and the footpath and cycleway that was officially opened on the 15th May.