Siemens wind-farm deals set Hull company on growth path

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Wind-farm support company Rix Sea Shuttle has become the first Hull firm to land contracts with Siemens following the multinational’s announcement in March of a £160m investment in turbine production in Yorkshire.

The deals see one of Rix’s four support vessels engaged at the Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind-farms off the south Lincolnshire coast and another operating at the Walney 2 wind-farm off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness. Both contracts are short-term, which is not unusual in a sector where project work is the norm.

Fleet manager Nick Allan, said the contracts marked a “landmark moment” for the company.

“These deals are very significant for us. They’re not our biggest projects, but they are our highest-paying contracts when you compare the day rates,” he said.

Mr Allan said he was confident the deals would be the first of many for Rix Sea Shuttle, which also has six tankers engaged in bunkering operations on the Humber and the Isle of Wight, and that they would help Rix to grow.

“We’ve got a good working relationship with Siemens now, so we think these deals will open up a number of other contracts with them. We’ll be bringing on another boat in March or April of next year, and I think within a year or two we will certainly be doing double what we are now,” he said.

Siemens’ £160m investment, along with a further £150m from Associated British Ports, are expected to create up to 1,000 new jobs at the Green Port Hull development directly, as well as supporting many others along the supply chain at companies like Rix.

Major investments by other turbine manufacturers, such as the Mitsubishi-backed MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and the South Korean CS Wind Corporation, have been rumoured for some time.

Mr Allan added: “Now we’re working with Siemens there’s a relationship of trust there, and we think we’ll be able to take that forward to other areas. The market is expanding, and there are further opportunities in Germany and the Baltic.”