The rapidly expanding renewable energy cluster at Port of Blyth received a major boost with the announcement of two long term deals linked to the offshore wind sector.
Alnmaritec, an aluminium boat builder with a focus on the offshore wind sector, has been operating at the Port on a temporary basis for the last year but has now committed to a major long term expansion. From 2011 a 100 strong workforce will now be constructing 15+ vessels per annum at the Port’s Wimbourne Quay terminal. Alnmaritec Managing Director Chris Millman confirmed “We chose the Port of Blyth as the best location to expand our operations and are now well placed to take advantage in the expected boom in the requirement for offshore windfarm support vessels.”
Sheffield based contract manufacturer MTL Group, has also confirmed a long term agreement to supply offshore secondary steel work for the manufacturers of offshore wind turbine foundation jackets and monopiles. The company is due to commence operations before the end of the year with structures of up to 150 tonnes being exported over the adjacent deep water quays. MTL Group Managing Director, Henry Shirman, confirmed “We considered several locations but chose the Blyth Estuary due to its excellent facilities and location together with the clear experience and positive attitude of the partners involved.”
These developments also coincided with the launch of the Blyth Estuary Renewable Energy Zone (BEREZ), an initiative promoted by the Port in conjunction with Northumberland County Council. BEREZ will hopefully act as a catalyst for further renewable energy related development and support the substantial cluster already located on the estuary.
Port of Blyth Chief Executive, Martin Lawlor, added “We are delighted to be able to announce these significant developments which are just reward for our long term focus and investment in renewable energy. This also re-enforces Blyth’s position as one of the primary renewable energy ports in the UK, a status we have every intention of building upon.”