Photo: Able UK
One of the world’s leading steel tube manufacturer has confirmed its intention to establish a monopile production facility on the South Bank of the Humber, potentially creating around 400 jobs.
Monopiles, which are driven into the seabed, provide the foundations for offshore wind turbines and currently there are no production facilities in the UK. The South Korean manufacturer SeAH
has signed an exclusive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Able UK
to use the Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) development.
Able UK’s executive chairman Peter Stephenson, said: “The offshore wind sector is on the cusp of something very special. We have a clear and unambiguous policy from Whitehall through the Sector Deal in the Industrial Strategy, and the increasingly demanding targets for both power generation and the extent of UK content.
“Combine this with the sector’s extraordinary efforts in terms of developing new products and significantly reducing costs and it is set to become a dominant factor in a post Covid-19 UK economy.
“However, to make the most of this ‘brave new world’, and to deliver 60% UK content we must act now to capitalise on this singular, but time-limited opportunity. AMEP can, and will, play a vital role in this process to, first and foremost, provide purpose-built heavy-duty deep-water quays and, just as crucially, 353 acres of adjacent hinterland.”
He added: “Unless we can put in place these key building blocks, the status quo will prevail and the aspirations to maximise UK activity will be further diminished.
“SeAH are one of a number of manufacturers with whom we are at similar stages of negotiation. It has fully embraced the concept of establishing a new ‘world-scale’ industrial cluster for offshore wind on the Humber and with it the over-arching strength of the UK’s offshore wind sector.
“Subject to our receiving the necessary support the first quays will be available towards the end of 2022, to coincide with the needs of both manufacturers and the developers of the offshore wind farms.”
Hyungkun Nam, SeAH’s chief executive (pictured), said: “The UK has the strongest market and we intend to play an important role in the ongoing development of the offshore wind sector. We recognise the considerable opportunity to be the first significant UK-based monopile supplier and partnering with AMEP, and with it Able, as a company with such a credible track record, as the sole partner with which we wish to progress matters.
“That is why we have signed an exclusive MoU with Able as we seek to bring to reality what would be a significant investment with an initial annual capacity of 162,000 tons, and rising up to 320,000 tons and the prospect of providing around 400 new jobs.”
Simon Bird, ABP Humber’s regional director, said: “We welcome this announcement and look forward to working with AMEP to develop further the growing North Sea Offshore Wind Sector, from offshore wind component manufacturing, assembly, installation and maintenance through to green hydrogen production, carbon capture, use and storage.
“The Humber, as the UK’s Energy Estuary, is making a major contribution towards meeting the UK’s net zero carbon emissions target and ABP plays a vital role in delivering that aspiration.”