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New subsea cable facility to boost UK offshore renewables sector

Posted on 30 Sep 2021 and read 1197 times
New subsea cable facility to boost UK offshore renewables sectorJDR Cable Systems (JDR), a global subsea cable and umbilical supplier and servicer, part of the TFKable Group, is set to open a new ‘state of the art’ subsea cable manufacturing facility in Cambois, near Blyth, Northumberland.

JDR has confirmed its intention to go ahead with the project, subject to final agreements, with construction expected to begin in 2022 ahead of a 2024 opening, creating 170 high-quality local jobs on completion and safeguarding 270 jobs at JDR’s existing facilities.

The initial project investment is estimated at £130 million, which will be part-funded by a grant from the BEIS Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support (OWMIS) scheme. JDR and TFK plan to raise the remaining funding with support expected from financial institutions and UK Export Finance.

The new facility is the first stage of JDR’s plans to expand its product portfolio to support the growing global renewable energy market, adding high-voltage export and long-length array cables to its existing capacity and product capabilities.

Further stages of the development could result in over 400 staff working at the site, with supplied products complementing JDR’s existing capacity provided by the company’s Hartlepool and Littleport UK manufacturing centres.

When complete, the facility will include a new catenary continuous vulcanisation (CCV) line, making it the only facility in the UK capable of full start-to-finish manufacturing of high-voltage subsea cables for offshore wind farms to support the growing global renewable energy market.

Higher-voltage subsea cables

Tomasz Nowak, JDR Cable Systems CEO, said: “As the energy transition gathers pace and the UK’s offshore wind sector continues to thrive, turbines are growing taller and farther from shore, calling for higher-voltage subsea cables.

“We are delighted to build on our legacy as a leading provider of subsea cables to the offshore energy sector by investing in this new facility. We are also delighted to continue our investment in the North East of England, and in bringing new jobs to Cambois, Blyth and Northumberland. Our proposed facility is strategically located to capitalise on the rapidly growing and largest offshore renewable energy market in Europe.”

Tony Quinn, chair of Energi Coast – the North East England’s Offshore Wind Supply Chain Cluster, added: “This investment will make a significant contribution toward the development of an offshore wind industrial cluster in the North East, strengthening an already well-established supply chain and creating hundreds of high-value jobs.”

Councillor Jeff Watson, chair of Advance Northumberland, said: “We have been working tirelessly to support this facility, which will be another major employer in south-east Northumberland – once the site of much heavy industry. We are thrilled JDR is able to make this announcement and will continue to support them as the scheme moves forward.”

The 69,000m2 facility will occupy the site of the former coal-fired power station, continuing Northumberland’s emergence as a hub for renewable energy engineering and industry.