Orsted signs multi-million pound deal for offshore wind monopiles as first SeAH Humber plant customer
Huge vote of confidence for inward investor behind £60m plan to create 750 jobs at Able Marine Energy Park
Offshore wind manufacturing on the Humber has received a huge boost with Orsted to become the first customer for a proposed monopile manufacturing plant.
SeAH Wind Ltd is investing £260 million in a site at Able Marine Energy Park, and the Danish world leader’s Hornsea Three offshore wind farm has been lined up to use the inaugural huge steel structures.
A total of 750 jobs are anticipated once the North Killingholme site is fully operational in 2030 – with initial production in 2023.
Joosung Lee, chief operating officer and senior executive vice president at SeAH Steel Holdings, said: “SeAH Wind will play a pivotal role in the UK offshore wind supply chain, and we would like to thank Orsted for proceeding the negotiation with faith in SeAH Wind’s vision.
“This agreement validates our ambitious plans to build the largest possible monopiles from our state-of-the-art UK factory and it has only come about through hard work, collaboration, and a willingness to work together to help deliver on the UK Sector Deal commitments.
“Orsted is not only a market leading developer of offshore wind farms, but also in developing new supply chain entrants, the fact that they have entrusted SeAH with a multi-million pound contract for Hornsea Three is huge commitment and we will endeavour to work alongside Ørsted to deliver this pivotal project.
“With this bold investment SeAH Wind plans to invest significantly in both people and technology, in doing so play our part in the UK green industrial transition which in turn will deliver both sustainable jobs and help to achieve our net zero carbon targets.”
The 2.4GW Hornsea Three farm was consented on New Year’s Eve 2020 and the deal is subject to Orsted securing a Contract for Difference for electricity generation from Westminster and a subsequent financial investment decision in Copenhagen.
It initially suggested up to 300 turbines – based on 8MW machines – but capacity advances could see that figure significantly reduced. Discussions are ongoing as to the total number of monopiles to be supplied.
The South Korean steel giant was first revealed as a potential inward investor back in September last year, when a memorandum of understanding was signed with site developer Able UK.
Financial sign off came in July this year when government support was committed to the project.
It is expected to become the world’s largest monopile production facility and capable of producing the extra-large monopiles required for the new generation of larger wind turbine models.
Duncan Clark, Orsted’s UK lead, said: “Through collaboration across government, industry and supply chain, this agreement represents another positive step towards creating a larger and sustainably competitive UK supply chain to support the next chapter in the UK’s offshore wind success story.
“The Hornsea Three team has worked extensively with SeAH Wind to support their investment decision to establish a new, globally competitive monopile foundations factory in the UK.
“We very much look forward to continuing our work with SeAH in bringing this landmark project to life and ultimately to deliver competitive monopiles from a UK fabrication facility for the first time.”
Orsted has invested over £13 billion constructing new offshore wind farms in the UK in the last decade and Hornsea Three will be its 14th project in UK waters, and sixth served from the Humber
The agreement has been welcomed in Westminster.
Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: “We are putting the British offshore wind industry at the heart of our green recovery, investing millions in infrastructure to develop a home-grown UK manufacturing supply-chain that will help create thousands of high-skilled, green jobs.
“Today’s multi-million-pound agreement between Orsted and SeAH Wind is a fantastic example of industry co-operation and a huge vote of confidence in the Humber region – demonstrating how our commitment to tackling climate change is helping to unlock investment across the UK as we build back greener.”