Plans have been announced for a £130m factory making cables for offshore wind farms on the Northumberland coast that will create 170 new jobs and safeguarding another 270 in the region.
JDR Cables, which already has sites at Newcastle and Hartlepool, is to build the plant at Cambois, near Blyth.
The development will be partly funded with a grant from the Government’s Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme and will be located close to the planned Britishvolt battery gigafactory.
When complete, it will be the only facility in the UK capable of producing high voltage subsea cables for offshore wind farms from start to finish, supporting the growing – and increasingly lucrative – renewable energy market.
JDR and its parent company, the TFK Group, hope to raise the rest of the funding for the project from financial institutions and the Government’s UK Export Finance scheme.
The announcement of the scheme follows a report which highlighted the North East as one of the areas best placed to benefit from the push to create green jobs in the UK.
Tomasz Nowak, chief executive officer at JDR, said:
“As the energy transition gathers pace and the UK’s offshore wind sector continues to thrive, turbines are growing taller and farther from shore, calling for higher voltage subsea cables.
“We’re delighted to build on our legacy as a leading provider of subsea cables to the offshore energy sector by investing in this new facility. We’re also delighted to continue our investment in the North East of England, and in bringing new jobs to Cambois, Blyth and Northumberland. Our proposed facility is strategically located to capitalise on the rapidly growing and largest offshore renewable energy market in Europe.”
The 69,000 sqm facility will occupy the site of the former coal-fired Blyth Power Station, which has been earmarked for green energy jobs.
Electric battery firm Britishvolt wants to build its factory on the power station’s former coal yards, though it has to raise more than £1bn to make its plans a reality.
Both developments have been hailed for contributing towards the UK’s push towards net zero as the UK prepares to host the COP26 summit in Glasgow later this year.
The plans have been welcomed by Coun Jeff Watson, chair of development body Advance Northumberland, who said:
“We’ve been working tirelessly to support this facility, which will be another major employer in south-east Northumberland – once the site of much heavy industry. We’re thrilled JDR is able to make this announcement and will continue to support them as the scheme moves forward.”
Helen Golightly, chief executive at the North East LEP, said:
“It’s excellent news that JDR has chosen the NEP1 Enterprise Zone site as the location for its new facility. Developing manufacturing capacity and supporting the creation of jobs in the offshore and subsea sector in the region is a strategic priority for the North East LEP.”
And Tony Quinn, chair of Energi Coast, the North East England’s offshore wind supply chain cluster, said:
“We’re delighted that JDR has selected Cambois, near Blyth, for such a strategically important investment.
“It will make a significant contribution toward the development of an offshore wind industrial cluster in the North East, strengthening an already well established supply chain and creating hundreds of high value jobs.”
Source: Energy Central UK