Triton Knoll sets sail for Grimsby with 170-job target for new offshore wind base
Triton Knoll has firmed up its ports preferences after reaching financial close.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 3 Sep 2018
A total of 170 new jobs look set to be created in Grimsby after energy giant Innogy confirmed the town as the base for Triton Knoll offshore wind farm.
The German utility giant has signed a memorandum of understanding with Associated British Ports, and should it be honoured – as expected it being the nearest port with an established cluster serving farms further away – the 860MW array will become the fourth major developer to anchor in the town, following Centrica, E.on and Orsted.
Triton Knoll will see the world’s most powerful turbines deployed – however it has confirmed that full-scale pre-assembly will take place at Able UK’s Seaton Port and not Able Marine Energy Park, as had been earlier envisaged. That will see 100 jobs created in the North East, while the ‘big space in the right place’ remains fallow, having been snubbed for the ongoing Hornsea projects too.
The announcement came as Innogy, the major stakeholder, reached financial close on the £2 billion project.
North Killingholme had been highlighted by Innogy officials as recently as last year, but it is understood that multiple projects were required to make the infrastructure investment stack up. The Tees now looks likely to benefit from serving Dogger Bank too, a Round Three zone further up the East Coast.
Julian Garnsey, pictured right, project director for Triton Knoll, said: “This is a great moment for Triton Knoll and the UK offshore wind industry as we formally secure the means to deliver around £2billion of new UK energy infrastructure.
“Triton Knoll expects to deliver at least 50 per cent of our investment with UK firms over the project’s lifecycle and at the height of construction we expect to see over 3,000 people working on the project.”
“We are delighted to be expanding the project’s UK footprint with MHI Vestas and these two east coast ports. The subsequent investment in Able UK’s Seaton port facility represents a great opportunity to enhance offshore wind port facilities within the Northern Powerhouse region.”
Orders have been placed with MHI Vestas to provide 90 of its V164-9.5 MW machines, currently considered to be the most powerful on the market. Like in Hull now, with Siemens, the turbine tower sections, blades and nacelles will be assembled at Seaton, before being loaded on to construction vessels for transport and installation at the wind farm, 30km off the Lincolnshire coast.
Able UK will develop an additional 140 metres of new heavy-duty quayside in the North East, and invest in equipment and facilities to support delivery of Triton Knoll. It says the investment will help the port become a competitive force within the offshore sector and providing considerable opportunities for the local supply chain.
Executive chairman Peter Stephenson, who fought a bitter legal battle to get Able Marine Energy Park over the line, said : “We have enjoyed a long and constructive relationship with Triton Knoll culminating in the announcement – it’s a massive vote of confidence in the UK, ourselves and the Teesside supply chain. Our sustained investment means we can provide a bespoke and tailor-made solution for Triton Knoll.
“This contract effectively completes Able’s offshore wind CV and is very much the start of something that will continue to grow. Government policy supports further growth in the offshore wind sector, with some of that potential on our doorstep, such as Innogy’s Sofia project. However, we do not take things for granted and our first and most important task is to ensure the successful and efficient execution of this exciting project.”
Innogy, the majority shareholder of Triton Knoll, is managing the construction of the project on behalf of Japanese investment partners J-Power and Kansai Electric Power.