Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has taken in the world’s largest offshore wind operations and maintenance base on the General Election campaign, as she underlined the “massive UK success story” that Grimsby is leading on.
The Conservative frontbencher came to the town’s Royal Dock to tour Orsted’s East Coast Hub
And in discussions with senior figures in the business she told how she would “really like to see a 75 per cent UK supply chain” having been told how Hornsea One – about to take the world’s largest title – was closing in on 50 per cent.
Duncan Clark, project director for it and successor Hornsea Two – to follow by 2022 – told how the team was now working towards 60 per cent UK content as in the Offshore Wind Sector Deal underlined by former Prime Minister Theresa May at the £14 million base back in March.
“I don’t think 60 per cent is quite ambitious enough,” the runner-up in the leadership contest to replace David Cameron back in 2016 said.
“Having been Energy Minister I’d like to see some of the UK fabrication yards from oil and gas being converted to become fabricators for towers and platforms.”
Mr Clark assured her this was happening, adding that the “most exciting supply chain stories” were of the growth in export opportunities, with a 20GW to 30GW opportunity in the UK part of a wider 200GW picture worldwide.
He also told how 400 people worked directly from the town base, with colleague Lauren Little explaining how six wind farms were operated from the site, with other operators also on the docks.
Mrs Leadsom is now in charge at BEIS, with energy and industrial strategy strapped onto the business remit.
She said: “It has just been fantastic to see the growth of offshore wind since I was here as Energy Minister in 2015, I’m so pleased with the progress. These beautiful offices are a commitment, and we can see staff now building a cleaner, greener future for the UK. . . . .
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