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Global offshore wind market leader Siemens today revealed the first turbine blade to be manufactured at its new wind power factory at Green Port Hull, the centrepiece of a £310m investment by Siemens and Associated British Ports (ABP). The milestone will be marked with a visit from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP.

The 75m blade is the first of hundreds to be manufactured in Hull every year for Siemens’ industry-leading 7MW and next-generation 8MW turbines and will be among the first supplied to DONG Energy for the Race Bank wind farm off the Norfolk and Lincolnshire coast.

Since construction started almost two years ago at Hull’s Alexandra Dock, Siemens and ABP have transformed the under-utilised waterfront location into a world-scale hub for wind power manufacturing, logistics and assembly. The factory has been delivered ahead of programme and within budget, with the new Hull workforce demonstrating rapidly their capability in world-class manufacturing and engineering.

Siemens has employed almost 700 people in Hull so far, with 96% living within a 30-mile radius of the city. The company has received more than 23,000 job applications. A further 100 permanent staff are employed at Alexandra Dock working for Siemens’ suppliers, and recruitment, up to a total of 1,000 people, will continue into 2017 as the site becomes fully operational. Hundreds more jobs have been created during construction and in the supply chain.

Siemens UK Chief Executive Juergen Maier said:

“We are witnessing probably the best example of industrial strategy in action we have in the UK today – creating new, local, skilled jobs, sustainable growth and the latest renewable technology, benefiting the UK economy and our society.”

Hull City Council Leader Cllr Steve Brady said:

“In 2010 we established Green Port Hull with partners ABP, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the University of Hull, with the aim of attracting the offshore wind industry and the renewable energy sector to the region. We are delighted to see this vision come to fruition.

“With the opening of this world-class facility coming fully into production, Hull will be firmly at the centre of a new industrial era as we embrace the opportunities of the low-carbon economy.

“Importantly, hundreds of local people will have high-quality employment within a company with a global reputation for manufacturing and technological excellence.”

Simon Bird, Director Humber at ABP, commented:

“The first turbine blade which we have seen manufactured at Siemens’ factory at Alexandra Dock is the symbol of two years of hard work and investment by Siemens, ABP and Hull City Council.

“In 2014, Alexandra Dock was simply a site with the potential to be a home to a world-class facility for wind power manufacturing. Fast forward to today, and with ABP’s £150m investment, the Siemens site is a thriving hub providing employment and economic benefits to Hull and the entire Humber region.

“As we continue to promote ABP’s ports and the region as key players in the Northern Powerhouse, we look forward to working with the sector to further transform the Humber into a hub for the offshore wind industry.”

Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, Leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:

“This is an historic day for Hull and the East Riding and the culmination of years of hard work by a number of individuals and organisations, including this council, working together to establish the area as the heart of the renewable energy industry in the UK.

“Siemens’ investment is a game changer and will help unlock the economic potential of East Yorkshire, creating thousands of high skilled jobs and providing opportunities that will help boost trade for local businesses. We welcome the opening of Siemens’ blade factory and look forward to seeing the site fully operational within the next year.”

Dr David Richards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), University of Hull said:

“This is another significant milestone for Hull. The high profile visits here today illustrate how Hull and the wider Humber region are now recognised as a world-class centre for offshore wind.

“At the University, we are geared up to further drive innovation in terms of research and development, business collaborations and a talent pipeline that will help deliver sustainable growth not just for the Humber region, but for the UK as a whole.”

Green Port Hull, through the £25.7m Green Port Growth Programme, has supported investors and their supply chains to secure long-term economic growth and employment for the area. It has assisted hundreds of local businesses in recognising and embracing potential opportunities within the renewables sector. 

Tim Rix, Chairman of the Green Port Programme Board, said:

“Since Siemens announced its investment in the region, our partners have been working tirelessly to support its supply chain needs, and help local businesses win work in the emerging renewables sector.

“We hope Siemens continues to flourish and bring even more opportunities to our region. We look forward to continuing our work at Green Port Hull and creating a bright future for the people and the businesses here.”

Development of the full Alexandra Dock site, including completion of a new harbour for pre-assembly and load out of wind turbine components, will continue into 2017.

For further information about the Siemens Hull project, see www.siemens.co.uk/hull