Tomorrow Investor

GE’s New Offshore Wind Blade Plant Gets UK Officials’ Nod


General Electric (GE) Renewable Energy announced last September 13, 2021 that officials approved their plan to build an offshore wind blade plant at Teesside, England.

The company bared that the state-of-the-art plant will begin its construction later this year in South Bank of Teessworks and to be operated by LM Wind Power. At present, the company is just finishing its contractual documents.

Based on the plan, the facility will manufacture 107-meter long offshore wind turbine blades as part of GE’s Haliade-X, the most powerful offshore wind turbine at present.

A significant milestone

Olivier Fontan, President & CEO of LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, expressed his gratitude to the UK authorities for collaboration and collective efforts among parties, such as the South Tees Development Corporation and Teesworks. 

Fontan acknowledged that while much work needed to be done, the approval was nevertheless an important milestone. It marks the facility’s construction and opening of a project that is set to rejuvenate the industry and become a relevant innovator in a renewable energy future.

On the other hand, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen stated that the project will have a significant social impact. From now until 2023, it will produce thousands of well-compensated jobs for the communities in Hartlepool, Darlington, and Teeside. Furthermore, the project’s completion will “play a central role” in the town’s ambition to be a wind sector powerhouse in the UK. At the very least, the project’s go-ahead will help boost the construction sector and contribute to the town’s post-pandemic economy.

The new plant is estimated to employ 750 direct positions beginning mid-2022, while additional indirect jobs are needed to fulfill the supply chain around the factory.

Andrew Bellamy, LM Wind Power UK General Manager, revealed that most of the new factory’s job vacancies would be filled by fully upskilled local workers. Workers will be trained at the LM Centre of Excellence on blade manufacturing techniques. 

The company further revealed that when the new plant starts its production, its Dogger Bank offshore wind farm will also directly benefit from the blades produced in the plant. The Dogger Bank Wind Farm has three phases and is powered by GE’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbine. It is estimated that in 2026 the said wind farm will be completed and will generate 3.60 gigawatts, enough to power 6 million homes in the UK.

GE Renewable Energy is a $16 billion business, with nearly 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries. The company aims to power the world with affordable, reliable, and sustainable green electrons.

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