Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has today (30 September) welcomed UK contractor Graham to the Teesworks site to kick-start development of the new South Bank Quay.
The heavy-lift quay, along the banks of the River Tees, will provide direct access to the biggest wind farms across the world and help position the site as the UK’s premier offshore wind hub.
The 1.2km quay will support GE Renewable Energy’s mammoth wind turbine blade facility and play a critical role in the loading out and shipping of the 107m long blades for the Dogger Bank wind farm, the world’s largest, located just 80 miles off the North East coast. The quay forms part of the wider 4.5m sq ft of advanced manufacturing and industrial space set to be built on 450acres of land next to the wharf.
The work includes ripping out the dilapidated concrete and wooden jetties of the former Heavy Fuel Oil Farm and Tarmac. Two million tonnes of earth will be excavated create the deep-water berthing facility.
A huge pile-driving crane has been delivered to the site this week ahead of the installation of 300 6ft wide, 30metre-long tubular piles that will be pushed into the riverbank to create the 15-acre hardstanding and logistical space.
Mayor Houchen said: “Today marks a huge milestone in our investment to create the UK’s premier offshore wind hub. The quay will be a huge asset, firmly putting Teesworks at the forefront of the offshore wind sector and be a huge draw for other businesses looking to invest on the site.
“The quay will allow companies such as GE Renewable Energy, to manufacture and ship their huge wind turbine blades to the world’s biggest wind farm, just miles out from our coast.
“I’ve said a lot about our accelerated demolition programme to get the site investor-ready and to help create thousands of well-paid, good-quality jobs for people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool – but today’s news shows we’re building things up as well.
“We’re getting to work and creating a site full of opportunities and, as well as the work we’re kick-starting today, within weeks construction will begin on GE’s wind turbine facility itself, proving right now and right here, we’re creating the jobs that local people want and deserve.”
Mary Lanigan, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is another breakthrough moment as the development of our word class port and industrial facilities continue. We also have a fantastic partner in GE Renewable Energy and we look forward to working with them more in future as we continue to attract the high quality jobs our residents deserve for generations to come.”
Paul Scott, GRAHAM Contract Director for the project said: “We are delighted to be starting the development of the new South Bank Quay – a project that will put the Teesworks site at the forefront of the offshore wind sector.
“As well as positioning the location as a premier offshore wind hub, our involvement in the project will deliver lasting impact on people living in the area.
“Transforming the site, we are committed to enhancing the fortunes of people in the area, supporting community organisations and giving local people the opportunity to play their part in such a major project.”
The job opportunities on offer in the construction and operational phases of GE’s facility will be available at TeesValley.jobs over the coming months as recruitment ramps up.