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Siemens Gamesa and ABP (Association of British Ports) announced in 2014 plans to build a turbine blade production factory and installations facilities on the north banks of the Humber. The investment of £310 million was split between the two organisations with Siemens Gamesa investing £160 million and £150 million by ABP. The initial plans split the factory over two sites, Paull and at Alexandra Dock inside Hull Port. The site at Paull would become the blade production facility and the Alexandra Dock site would become the installation facility. The installation facility would be where the wind turbines would be prepared for shipping out into the North Sea.
In late 2014, Siemens Gamesa announced that the blade production facility would now be located on the Alexandra Dock site rather than the site at Paull. This decision was based on the redesign of the layout of the site and the reduction of the foot print of the blade production facility. Also the development of the production concept and process also allowed the whole processes to be located on Alexandra Dock. Being able to locate the whole process on one site means that Siemens Gamesa will be able to produce 600 blades a year rather than 450 blades that could be produced at the Paull site.
Construction started in the summer of 2015 and was finished by the end of 2016 with the first wind turbine blade being produced in the last few months of 2016. During construction local businesses such as Clugston won major contracts to build the facility. The construction of the site included filling in part of the dock for space to store blades, building new piers into the Humber for ships to dock to load turbines on to, offices and other buildings.
As the image above shows there are a variety of different elements and activities taking place on the Siemens Gamesa site. These include blade manufacturing, storage of blades, towers and power sets, servicing of wind turbines to name a few.
The site is ideally located for Siemens Gamesa to transport the wind turbines into the North Sea to serve the demand for the turbines in the wind industry off the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coast.
When the factory is complete it will directly create around 1000 jobs of which a high percentage are going to local people. Other jobs such as in the construction phase and in the supply chain around Siemens Gamesa are being created as well. The roles will be in variety of areas from engineering, manufacturing to office roles. Facilities such as new piers are being created to allow Siemens Gamesa to move the turbines easily from the factory onto ships.