Advance Northumberland have reached another major milestone in the redevelopment of the former Blyth Power Station Enterprise Zone, where work is well on the way to create the new deep water dock with direct link to a 12 ha development plateau.
The activity aims to maximise the potential of the site to attract investment from the offshore energy industry and capitalise on the growth in this sector.
The Port of Blyth, Advance Northumberland, Catapult and other partners have already made significant progress in capturing market share through business development and the Energy Central campaign. The works to the Ash Barge Dock will create a fit for purpose deep water berth for larger vessels. The development area is undergoing excavation, material processing and site levelling. Works commenced in January this year and are due to complete in August 2020.
Northumberland Energy Park is primed to capitalise on offshore energy projects in the North Sea and beyond. The work will bring the site back into use, creating new jobs and further investment to Blyth and boosting the regional economy.
Work to create the dock involves driving over a hundred 21 metre steel piles and sheets in order to create the new quay wall. Piles are being driven with an impact hammer drill which is bigger than a house. The hammer drill weighs a whacking 26.6 tons and generates a maximum energy of 240knm, which is needed to drive the piles into the rock. The next phases involve construction of a temporary cofferdam across the entrance of the dock so that the area can be pumped of water to allow excavation works in the dry.
Farrans the principal contractor has been working alongside Northumberland Community Voluntary Action to engage with the local community around the construction effects and looking at ways that they can leave a lasting legacy which goes beyond the works. They are holding on-going community workshops – the next one takes place on Thursday 19th September at 6pm at Cambois Club on Selbourne Terrace. The workshop will continue to build upon ideas generated and look at “assets” already present in the Cambois community and identify many ideas which we can develop further.
Cllr Richard Wearmouth Chair of Advance Northumberland, said: “The dock infrastructure works is a giant leap for Blyth putting the development site on the map for the offshore industry and building upon the Port of Blyth successes. This is a real turning point establishing Northumberland Energy Park’s first phase”.
The project received £4,440,736 from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
The Local Growth Deal is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport as part of the North East Growth Deal.”