Offshore wind specialist, DONG Energy, is set to build a new operations and maintenance centre in Wirral to serve its expanding offshore wind operations in Liverpool Bay.
The multi-million pound facility in Seacombe will serve the existing 90MW Burbo Bank offshore wind farm and the new 258MW Burbo Bank Extension, which is currently under construction.
Once complete, the Burbo Bank Extension will cover an area of 40km2 and generate enough electricity to power 180,000 homes.
The operation and maintenance facility will create 45 permanent jobs once operational in 2017. Vessels enabling staff to access the wind farm are expected to operate from the nearby Seacombe Mersey Ferries terminal.
The announcement was made during the International Festival for Business (IFB) 2016 in Liverpool.
Making the announcement, Brent Cheshire, UK country chairman at DONG Energy, said it was an example of the positive activity currently taking place in the north west.
“I am delighted to announce that we are building this fantastic new facility in Merseyside to service our offshore wind farms in the area”, he said.
“DONG Energy is committed to investing in the UK. The site [in Seacombe] offers excellent offshore access and flexibility, which is exactly what we need to efficiently operate and maintain our wind farms.”
North west leadership
Cllr Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council, described the move as “another step towards establishing Wirral and the wider [Liverpool] city region as a leading player in the renewable energy sector, and we look forward to further close partnership work with DONG Energy.
“The development will not only create jobs and bring new skills and expertise to the area in line with our Wirral Plan 2020 pledges; it regenerates a site in an important docklands location.”
The move is an example of DONG Energy’s increasing impact in the north west region’s renewable energy sector.
As well as the Burbo Bank development in Liverpool Bay, the company is also currently building a 660MW extension of the Walney offshore wind farm off the Cumbrian coast, which will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm when complete.
By 2019, DONG will have invested £5.4 billion in offshore wind in the north west.
The company is also set to start construction on a waste-to-energy plant in Cheshire that will be the first of its kind to process unsorted and untreated household waste into biogas and recyclables.