Port's new offshore wind hub is open for business

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 16 Apr 2019

Grimsby’s offshore wind might is growing - as a new hub within the internationally recognised cluster emerges.

The GRO Centre has evolved from Orsted’s first base in the port, with four companies sharing the expansive site that takes up an entire length of quay.

Once home to the coal feeders providing a power feedstock to trawlers, it has switched from a fossil fuelling station to a state-of-the-art crew transfer vessel base with allied services, office and warehouse space.

A significant investment from port operator Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises has brought it forward, with 60 people now working there.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Grimsby Offshore Centre. Martyn Boyers, second right, chief executive of Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises, welcomes Josh Brennan, right, operations director at CWind; Mads Enemark Noergreen, left, sales director at Heli PPE and Cass Clay, key account manager in the UK for ComtecInt.

Chief executive Martyn Boyers said: “It is right at the heart of Grimsby operations, and a big area. With Orsted now in the East Coast Hub, and one single operator unlikely to need such space, we decided to try and promote the use as a shared site. We have developed GRO, brought in different companies and we have now got 50 per cent of the office space taken. We’ve refurbished and remodelled for clients, and we’ve quickly gone from an empty site to having in the region of 60 people on site. It has become a hub of activity, and that in itself attracts more business.”

Read more: Stage set for Offshore Wind Sector Deal discussion at OWC 2019

Major tenant is CWind, having been looking to develop an independent site with berths as it serves multiple contracts out of Grimsby.

It has established the new base as its headquarters, with operations director Josh Brennan delighted with the facility, as he leads a 20-strong team also keen to grow.

“We set our Grimsby hub up four years ago, and working closely with Martyn and his team to find the right premises,” he said. “We moved up here due to the economic growth in offshore wind, with all the major players from, first Centrica, to E.on and Orsted, with the major build contractors like Siemens Gamesa and MHI Vestas either here or just up the road too. This area, for the East Coast, makes perfect sense to be the ideal port for wind.

EARLIER INVESTMENT: Grimsby Shipyard Services, brought forward by Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises. 

“It is a fantastic facility, with designated berths for CTVs and a warehouse custom-built for project management, and great offices for the team.”

CWind holds a service contract for the transmission assets of Westermost Rough, as well as working in the operations and maintenance and construction of Race Bank and Humber Gateway.

Also operating from there is MMS, expanding from its Hull base as it serves the industry, having just secured funding for a new vessel.

They are joined by Danish firms Comtec Int and HeliPPE, first time operators in Grimsby, bringing life jacket and safety suit supply and service to the port estate. 

The investment follows major works on the lock system and the £1.85 million extensive overhaul of the slipway, allowing service and inspection of multiple vessels in the base port. 

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