Plans for a £300m offshore turbine base factory on Teesside have been given the go-ahead.
The proposals for South Korean steel manufacturer, SeAH Wind’s, site at Teesside’s Freeport have received planning approval.
The giant facility - claimed to be the largest of its kind in the world at over 800m in length - will offer 1.13million sq ft of factory space.
It will produce monopiles up to 120m in length, 15.5m in diameter and weighing 3,000tons which are used to support offshore wind turbines.
The scheme will see the creation of 1,500 supply chain and construction jobs when work begins next month, along with a further 750 roles when the site is fully operational.
Occupying a 90-acre site, the development forms part of the UK’s fast-growing alternative energy sector, responding to the latest Government Energy Strategy.
Completion of the site is anticipated in 2024.
The facility has been designed to accommodate the production of new extra-large monopiles and will become SeAH Wind’s first such resource outside South Korea.
When fully operational, it is expected to produce between 100 and 150 monopiles per year which will be transported directly from the factory to Teesworks’ new South Bank Quay facility before heading to the North Sea for installation using specialised pile driving equipment.
The site will include the main monopile manufacturing building, an administration office, maintenance station, paint facility, site-specific power stations and a range of staff welfare facilities.
K2 Consultancy is the project manager, construction manager and cost consultant. K2 has engaged a multi-disciplinary team including Ashton Smith Associates acting as architects, together with Clarkebond as civil, structural and geo-environmental engineers, and building services engineers, Waterman Group.
Nick Coke, director of project management at K2, said: “This is a tremendously exciting project for us building on our strong experience in the industrial manufacturing sector. It gives us the opportunity to deliver a market-leading, world-class and pioneering facility that will kick-start much needed regeneration on Teesside. This brings some fresh challenges as the project requires us to deliver for a Korean client new to the UK. In order to fast-track the project and to allow SeAH to speed their product to market, we are leveraging our expertise in construction management, allowing work to start on site at the earliest opportunity.”
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen added: “This is a fantastic step forward for SeAH Wind’s game-changing scheme. The first job has been advertised, the plans have been approved and now spades can get in the ground in just a matter of weeks. 2022 is our year of construction there’s nothing holding back plans for this mammoth facility, helping drive forward the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of the future.”