Blog by Great Yarmouth Sales Manager, Ranjit Singh Nagra
At the Conservative party conference this month, Boris Johnson pledged to power every home in the UK with offshore wind energy within a decade.
He announced that the UK would become “the world leader in clean wind energy” and he committed £160m to upgrade ports and factories for building turbines to help the country "build back greener".
At Great Yarmouth, we’ve already been working with this crucial sector for more than 50 years.
And this is why we’re the ideal port to help deliver large-scale offshore projects to meet government targets.
Our Great Yarmouth port is located close to the Southern North Sea which has the largest concentration of offshore wind projects in the world – the majority of which sit within 100 miles of our deep-water port.
In fact, we’re situated in close proximity to two of the largest windfarms by Vattenfall and Scottish Power, where there is a combined 6.4GW capacity still to be installed. That capacity in itself would power in the region of 5.6 million UK homes with green energy.
Our location means we have both a deep-water Outer Harbour facility and our river harbour which can support CTV and SOV vessels used for the operation and maintenance of windfarms such as Equinor’s Dudgeons and upcoming Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard offshore site.
Our existing facilities
To help us deliver major offshore projects, we have already invested approx. £12 million upgrading our quays, equipment and storage areas to support the industry.
We’ve established a footprint large enough to accommodate a large windfarm component manufacturer looking to enter the UK and there’s the possibility for us to expand the port’s footprint further by land reclamation.
Our specialist infrastructure has helped support the development and ongoing maintenance of offshore wind installations across the North Sea. These include a heavy lift pad area, RoRo Ramp and over 20 hectares of outdoor storage for windfarm components, including windfarm foundations.
But don’t just take our word for it. We were selected to act as the marshalling harbour for the Galloper Windfarm and more recently the EA1 windfarm that became fully operational this year.
We’re already capable of supporting all windfarm industry port operations, including assembly, installation, operational and maintenance, and decommissioning.
However, that’s not enough. There’s a growing demand for east coast offshore wind projects, and turbines and other components are increasing in size and weight. We want to accommodate this growth.
We are continually investing in our site, quays and facilities, with significant development plans in the pipeline to create the facilities to accommodate multiple projects at any one time.
We have a fully functioning North terminal, but plans are in the pipeline to create a brand-new Southern Terminal, consisting of an additional 350m of quay, RoRo ramp, New Heavy Lift pad area and approx. 10 hectares of strengthened outdoor storage space.
And it’s not just us that sees the potential at Great Yarmouth.
In September, Norfolk County Council (NCC) announced £6 million of funding to deliver an offshore energy Operations and Maintenance (O&M) campus at the port.
This investment will rejuvenate parts of land owned by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Peel Ports Great Yarmouth to create a campus located at the entrance of the River Yare.
In close proximity to the Southern North Sea Offshore Energy developments, the campus will reduce O&M costs and maximise efficiency of supporting activities, as well as provide access to deep water and the river port for O&M businesses.
A greener future
This is just the first of many announcements expected from our PM.
His initial commitment is the first stage of a 10-point plan for a "green industrial revolution" and the government will reveal more detail later this year to "accelerate our progress towards net zero emissions by 2050".
We believe Great Yarmouth is already at the forefront of the offshore sector and going forward, we will be a major player in meeting the clean energy targets set out by the PM.