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Work has today (7 July) got under way on a new £400million offshore wind facility on Teesside, set to become the biggest of its kind in the world and create 750 direct jobs.
SeAH Wind Ltd’s 1.13million sq ft facility will produce bases for offshore wind turbines and will be based at Redcar’s Teesworks, the UK’s biggest industrial zone. It is the first scheme driven by private sector investment to begin construction at any UK Freeport.
To mark the occasion, politicians, business leaders and key stakeholders visited the site for a formal Signing Ceremony, followed by presentations and a question-and-answer session ahead of the ground-breaking.
When fully operational, the scheme will create 750 jobs, with a further 1,500 indirect jobs in the supply chain during construction.
SeAH Wind Ltd is committed to supporting the local workforce and has previously held engagement events so businesses from across the region could learn how they can get involved as work on the factory ramps up.
When complete, the facility is expected to produce between 100 and 150 monopiles per year which will be transported directly from the factory to Teesworks’ under-construction South Bank Quay before heading to the North Sea for installation using specialised pile driving equipment.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen welcomed President & CEO of SeAH Steel Holdings Joosung Lee and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng MP to the Teesworks site to mark the occasion.
Mayor Houchen said: “Today is a monumental day years in the making. Since 2017 we’ve had a challenging time to secure all of the land at Teesworks and have worked hard to get it remediated and investor-ready as quickly as possible. Now we’ve finally got to the good part!
“This is not only the first private sector project to get spades in the ground at Teesworks. It’s not only the first at the Teesside Freeport. It’s actually the first at any Freeport in the UK – once again proving our region is the place to do business in the safer, cleaner and healthier sectors of the future.
“The first building blocks are now in place to create hundreds of high-quality, well-paid jobs for people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool for generations to come. And those numbers will only grow as the other transformational projects we’ve got lined up mark us out as the driving force behind the UK’s low carbon ambitions.”
President & CEO of SeAH Steel Holdings Joonsung Lee said: “We are starting SeAH’s future with you here in Teesside. Once again, SeAH will be supporting one of the most critical industries of our time, offshore wind, which is at the core of UK’s net zero strategy. SeAH Wind will be the first XXL monopile foundation fabrication facility in the UK. With this massive factory it will signal a successful revival of the manufacturing sector in Teesside, as well as setting a great example for the UK government’s initiative to support a green industrial revolution.”
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “It’s fantastic to witness the ground-breaking for the UK’s first monopile factory which will see Teesside laying the foundations for the future of offshore wind in the UK.
“This plant can be a cornerstone of our new world-class manufacturing base, bringing even more jobs to the region, while helping to strengthen Britain’s energy security.
“We’re incredibly proud to support this investment and I’m grateful to Mayor Ben Houchen and SeAH for making this nationally-significant project a reality.”
Mary Lanigan, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This really is a real breakthrough moment - the day when the potential of our borough and our region to be right at the forefront of the green industrial revolution starts to become reality. This is about quality jobs for our people in the near future and for many years to come and we are all determined that it marks only the beginning of what will be achieved at our world class industrial site and port.”
Jacob Young, MP for Redcar, said: “Today has been a huge day for Teesworks and for the whole of Teesside.
"With the ground breaking at SeAH's massive new facility, right on our doorstep, it's a good time to reflect upon the incredible progress we have made in Teesside.
"Six years ago it looked as if this site would never recover - now this is at the very heart of a new industrial revolution.
"A cleaner revolution creating the technologies of the future in Teesside and bringing thousands of well paid, high quality jobs back to our region.
"As I have said previously, the scale of this green manufacturing site matches the scale of our ambitions for the entirety of Teesworks.
"SeAH is already engaging with hundreds of local firms to help with construction, supply chain and recruitment to get its facility up and running.
"Here on Teesside we're getting on with the job of transforming the future of this region."