United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK government pushes for offshore hub in North Wales

UK: Peter Hain, the UK secretary of state for Wales, has revealed his office in talks with manufacturers about building a offshore wind farm factory at Anglesey island in the north of the province.

Wales secretary of state Peter Hain (right) with UK prime minister Gordon Brown
Wales secretary of state Peter Hain (right) with UK prime minister Gordon Brown

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Hain told the Welsh newspaper the Daily Post that he was pushing for the factory to be built at a former aluminium smelting plant on the island, which also has a deep port allowing to allow easy transportation of wind turbines. He was unable to reveal who he was talking to about the project.

The aim would be to turn the island into a centre of excellence for renewable energy. The minister added the project would be backed up by government funding should it go ahead.

Hain added that today he would be flying out to the German port of Bremerhaven, whose off-shore manufacturing facilities are well regarded, on a fact-finding misson.

Anglesey is not the only Welsh region looking to create wind industry jobs. Earlier this month engineering firm Mabey Bridge announced plans to invest £38 million in a factory at Chepstow, Monmounthshire building and painting wind turbine towers.

It has been recognised that for all of the UK's investment in offshore energy the UK has no comparative to Bremerhaven and many of the wind farms currently planned as part of Round 3 will probably have to be constructed overseas.

In the upcoming March issue of Windpower Monthly, Global Marine Services director Ian Gaitch  urges the UK government to look at investing in something similar facilities and suggests Tyne and Wear would make a good location.

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