Government ‘must back UK-turbines’

DEVELOPERS of a £450m marine energy park say they need Government backing if wind turbines are to be built in the UK.

Able UK has been waiting since May for the Government to decide whether to approve plans for a £450m marine energy park on the south bank of the Humber, which has the potential to create 4,000 jobs.

The company said the Government wouldn’t reap the benefits of offshore wind unless the UK had the facilities to attract major turbine manufacturers and their supply chains.

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Neil Etherington, group development director with Able UK said: “Up to now none of the principal components for the turbines have been manufactured here.

“We will only change that imbalance if we can offer facilities tailor-made for the industry, able to attract the major international players and draw in supply chain companies. It is all very well having the biggest market, but if we have to rely on imported products the benefits are hard to see and the sceptics would be entitled to ask some pretty searching questions.

“The key challenge facing the offshore wind industry is to reduce costs and the best way of achieving that is through a multi-user facility which can generate a cluster of both turbine manufacturers and their suppliers, large and small.”

The Government’s new deadline for a decision is August 28.