Boris Johnson says Teesside can lead the way in green energy after a deal to bring 750 wind energy jobs to the region were revealed.
Global offshore wind manufacturer GE Renewable Energy will build a new state-of-the-art facility on the banks of the River Tees.
Prime minister Boris Johnson – pictured above with chancellor Rishi Sunak and PD Ports bosses Frans Calje and Jerry Hopkinson during their visit to the region last week – said: “Teesside will continue to drive forward our green industrial revolution as we capitalise on new opportunities to produce clean energy through a brand new offshore wind port on the River Tees.
“It will not only create thousands of jobs and harness the skills and expertise of this great industrial heartland, but also boost investment into the area as we build back greener.”
PD Ports also welcomed Wednesday night’s GE announcement.
The firm’s COO Jerry Hopkinson said: “Today’s announcement is fantastic news for the Tees Valley and Teesport. As Statutory Harbour Authority for the River Tees, we recognise the many unique advantages Teesport has to offer global investors as the UK’s Northern gateway for global trade.
“This announcement further strengthens the reputation of Teesport and the first-class businesses that operate within the port complex along the River Tees – renowned as a national leader in renewable energy.
“In 2020, the Tees Valley received UK Government Core Status as a Centre of Renewable Engineering, which combined with direct access to the North Sea, deep water facilities, skilled labour, world-class infrastructure and supply chains, will undoubtedly be a catalyst for further major growth in this sector.”
The region’s key position within the offshore wind sector is cemented by its close proximity to one of the UK’s largest offshore wind projects, Dogger Bank.
Jerry added: “GE’s commitment to the region builds on the number of world-class offshore manufacturers based in Teesport, including industry leading JDR Cables in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough-based Wilton Engineering and Able UK’s Seaton Port – the marshalling base for the world’s biggest windfarm, Triton Knoll, assembling 90 turbines at its Hartlepool yard.
“Of course, Teesside’s new-found freeport status will undoubtedly be a contributing factor to securing GE Renewable Energy’s investment in our region, providing a major boost to the Northern economy and delivering the Government’s levelling-up agenda.
“It is an exciting time for our region and we are more determined than ever to continue to deliver growth and prosperity for the Tees Valley and to establish the River Tees as the UK’s most successful port region by 2050.”
Business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Teesside has already put itself at the forefront of the government’s plans to build back greener and this new wind port will secure new jobs and clean energy for years to come.
“Given its proud industrial heritage and the skills and knowledge of the local community, Teesside is a natural fit for project like this and I have no doubt that the region will embrace this new development and the opportunities it will provide.”
And energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The River Tees has been a source of economic opportunity for hundreds of years, from trading the goods of the Industrial Revolution and supporting the development of our modern industries.
“The new port on the River Tees will put Teesside on the map of the green industrial revolution, driving forward UK manufacturing and powering our homes with clean, green energy. In turn, local people will reap the rewards of the new opportunities the port provides, including thousands of new jobs and investment in the region.”
Councillor Mary Lanigan, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, added: “This huge investment and creation of 750 jobs by GE, as well as an additional 1,500 jobs in the supply chain, is fantastic news for the area and shows the huge potential for growth and job creation on the Teesworks site.
“The site is being refurbished to the highest standard to attract companies just like GE who are well known for their work in the power and renewable energy sector.
“The jobs it will provide for local people will bring a better standard of living for many families and help deliver greater prosperity for Redcar and Cleveland and the Tees Valley.
“This is the news we have all been waiting for and sends out a clear message to other businesses and industrialists from around the world that there is no better place to do business and trade than Redcar and Cleveland and the Tees Valley.”