Siemens to build major offshore wind manufacturing site in UK
Global energy company Siemens recently announced its decision to invest £160 million in wind turbine production and installation facilities in Yorkshire, England.
The plan will be spread across two sites comprising the previously announced Green Port Hull project construction, assembly, and service facility and a new rotor blade manufacturing facility in nearby Paull, in East Riding.
The Green Port Hull project has been in the making for around four years and is the product of an effort between many national and local political, business, and community parties and many people within Siemens in the UK, Denmark, and Germany, and Associated British Ports.
The facility will be the first manufacturing plant of its kind for Siemens next generation blade technology (IntegralBlade) designed for Siemens SWT-6.0-154 6 megawatt (MW) wind turbine. Each rotor blade is 75 meters long and when rotating covers an area the size of two and a half football pitches.
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Siemens is investing £160 million across the two locations and its port partner Associated British Ports is investing a further £150 million in the Green Port Hull development. The combined investments of £310 million will create up to 1,000 jobs directly, with additional jobs during construction and indirectly in the supply chain.
“This is a massive vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan,” said UK Prime Minister David Cameron, in a released statement. “This investment is going to create lots of new jobs and opportunities, meaning more financial security and peace of mind for families and a more resilient economy for our country."
Siemens and ABP will submit planning applications to Hull City Council and East Riding Council over the next few months for revisions to the existing proposed scheme at Alexandra Dock and for land in Paull in East Riding for the wind turbine blade factory.
Green Port Hull is planned to be operational to meet round three requirements in early 2016. The start of production at the blade factory is scheduled to be in the middle of 2016 with full production levels reached from mid 2017 onwards.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.