As many as 50 new jobs could be created at a Hull shipyard which is to build a fleet of new vessels to service the huge wind farms being developed off the East Coast of Yorkshire.
MMS Ship Repair will both construct and run the boats, operating a “shuttle service” carrying technicians and equipment out to sea.
It is one of the first examples of the new job opportunities being created in Hull by offshore farms, ahead of the much-heralded Siemens wind turbine factory, which is earmarked for the port.
The multi-million pound project will see as many as six 24-metre vessels being built.
Rob Langton, managing director of MMS, based at Alexandra Dock, near the site earmarked for Siemens, said: “We started looking at this project 12 months ago. These vessels will have a unique design and will be much larger than most current boats – being purpose-built for the type of wind farms planned for the North Sea, which are further out from shore.”
The Siemens development will assemble turbines for the “Round Three” wind farms, 12 hours’ sailing time from the Humber.
Mr Langton added: “We have the perfect position, geographically – in Hull – and also the right experience and skills to build, operate and maintain these vessels as the offshore wind industry and supply chain grows around us in the Humber area.”
Sam Pick, the director of the Renewables Network, which represents 200 renewable energy companies on both banks of the Humber, said: “Siemens is very much at the top of the agenda and it is very important that it goes through planning, but offshore wind is happening anyway. You have E.on’s Humber Gateway moving forward, which in itself is a £700m offshore development.
“It is a massive project that is going to happen regardless of Green Port Hull and that is what is creating the present opportunities.”
The design of the catamarans will be unveiled at an event at the World Trade Centre Hull & Humber in Queen Street, Hull, on February 21.