Renewable energy developer Vattenfall has selected the port at Great Yarmouth, run by infrastructure specialists Peel Ports, as the preferred location for the operations and maintenance base for the Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone.
When completed, Vattenfall’s Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone will be able to power around 4.6 million households.
According to Peel Ports around 130 new jobs would be created with staff directly employed for the lifetime of the project which is around 35 years. Recruitment for the new jobs should begin in 2026 and last for around two years.
Vattenfall is already engaging with local schools, colleges, and universities to encourage local awareness and to boost the skills that will be required to work in the sector, Peel Ports said in a statement.
"Competition was fierce to secure the agreement with an excellent bid from Lowestoft and Associated British Ports. With both ports offering excellent services it is clear that East Anglia’s potential as a superpower of offshore wind is secure," Peel Ports said.
Vattenfall’s base will be at the new £21.4m O&M Campus commissioned by Norfolk County Council in a partnership project in collaboration with Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
"The government must now play its role in helping to support East Anglia and the region’s efforts to secure long-term, green jobs and investment by providing a policy and financial framework that delivers value for money for customers and is investable for developers," Peel Ports said.
Rob Anderson, Project Director of Vattenfall’s Norfolk Zone, said: "We’re really pleased to be working with Peel Ports who’ll be providing us with a home for our Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone. It should be a great economic boost for the area with around 130 long-term jobs helping to manage the Wind Zone, one of the world’s largest."
“All we need now is for government to play its part by providing a financial framework that gives us the certainty we need to invest so that local people can start seeing the benefits.”
Richard Goffin, Port Director South East cluster, Peel Ports Group said: "It is fantastic news to be selected by Vattenfall as preferred bidder for this operation and maintenance contract. This decision continues to show the confidence in the role of Great Yarmouth Port as a key enabler in the green energy sector, with tremendous potential to grow.
“We will continue to work collaboratively with the market alongside our valued stakeholders and strengthen our position with further expansion planned. We are proud to support the growth of the sector by providing a platform for projects such as the Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone.”
Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said:"’Great Yarmouth Borough Council is delighted that Vattenfall has chosen the town’s port as the preferred location for its offshore wind zone Operations and Maintenance base. We have worked hard to support our partners, Peel Ports – which runs the port in Great Yarmouth – to provide a compelling case as to why the port and wider South Denes offshore energy zone provides the ideal location for Vattenfall.
“This Operations and Maintenance base has the potential to play a key role in delivering our forward thinking regeneration strategy for the town, its residents and businesses. It will deliver new, highly skilled jobs for the offshore wind sector as renewables continue to play an ever increasingly important role in the energy mix and the economic development of the UK.
‘’Great Yarmouth is uniquely placed to be able to meet the requirements of the sector with its close proximity to the southern North Sea and this announcement is excellent news for the town.’’