At the Conservative party conference this month, the prime minister announced that the UK would become “the world leader in clean wind energy”. He committed £160m to upgrade ports and factories for building turbines to help the country "build back greener".
The Port of Great Yarmouth, which has more than 50 years’ experience in delivering major offshore projects, has already invested approx. £12 million upgrading its quays, equipment and storage areas to support the industry.
Its location close to the Southern North Sea which has the largest concentration of offshore wind projects in the world – the majority of which sit within 100 miles of the deep water port – makes it ideally positioned to deliver large-scale offshore projects to meet government targets.
It’s situated in close proximity to two of the largest windfarms by Vattenfall and Scottish Power, where there is a combined 6.4GW capacity still to be installed. That capacity would power in the region of 5.6 million UK homes with green energy.
Richard Goffin, Port Director at Peel Ports Great Yarmouth, said: “We welcome the PM’s announcement that he is planning to invest in a sector that we have always identified as key to meeting targets for greener energy production.
“At Great Yarmouth, we have already invested significantly in our facilities to support the sector and we have a proven track record of delivering big offshore energy projects. We were selected to act as the marshalling harbour for the Galloper Windfarm and more recently the EA1 windfarm that became fully operational this year.”
Boris Johnson’s initial commitment is the first stage of a 10-point plan for a "green industrial revolution". The government will reveal more detail later this year to "accelerate our progress towards net zero emissions by 2050".
To meet these targets, Peel Ports Great Yarmouth is continuing to invest in its facilities, with significant development plans in the pipeline, including the possibility to expand the port’s footprint by land reclamation.
In September, Norfolk County Council (NCC) announced £6 million of funding to deliver an offshore energy Operations and Maintenance (O&M) campus at the port.
This investment will rejuvenate parts of land owned by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Peel Ports Great Yarmouth to create a campus located at the entrance of the River Yare.
In close proximity to the Southern North Sea Offshore Energy developments, the campus will reduce O&M costs and maximise efficiency of supporting activities, as well as provide access to deep water and the river port for O&M businesses.
Richard Goffin added: “We’re already capable of supporting all windfarm industry port operations, including surveying, manufacturing, pre-assembly, installation and commissioning, operational and maintenance, and decommissioning. However, we are continually investing in our site, quays and facilities to ensure we can host any scale of offshore projects.
“As well as the creation of the O&M campus, there is also the potential for us to add further land for development including a Southern terminal creating an extra 10 hectares of outside storage space, an additional 350m quay, a new heavy lift pad area and options for both RoRo and LoLo operations.
“We believe Great Yarmouth is at the forefront of the offshore sector and with our continued investment, the Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Norfolk County Council’s and the Government’s, it should be a major player in meeting the clean energy targets set out by the PM."