Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Chain Reaction for Teesside

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Chain Reaction for Teesside

Article excerpt

PD Ports has recently launched a major campaign to attract the offshore wind energy industry to the North East of England. The launch took place during PD Ports' Chain Reaction conference in Hartlepool to promote the concept.

The response to the campaign has been very encouraging.

Together with other companies involved in the offshore wind farm sector in the region, PD Ports has launched Chain Reaction - Teesside's Renewable Energy Supply Chain Cluster. The aim is to build a centre of excellence in Teesside that will be recognised both nationwide and worldwide.

Jerry Hopkinson, PD Ports' managing director for bulks, ports and logistics, said: "We believe that by working together, we can offer the range of skills and facilities needed by those seeking sites for their businesses to supply the offshore and renewable energy markets - including those making hardware for the industry and providers of components for that hardware."

Teesport and Hartlepool are ideally placed to service the offshore wind farms off the UK coast. Hartlepool is the closest port to Dogger Bank (the Government's largest designated offshore wind farm zone) and already hosts JDR Cable Systems, a leading cable manufacturer for renewable energy projects, and Heerema Fabrication Group, which specialises in the engineering and fabrication of large and complex structures, mainly for the offshore oil & gas and energy industry. Having opened its facility in 2009, JDR Cable Systems has signed a deal to expand its current 100,000 sq ft facility at Hartlepool, opened only last July, by a further 116,000sq ft to meet demand.

This initiative is aimed at bringing investment and new jobs to the area. The people of the region have the engineering skills to work with the new technologies, which will be used to produce everything needed for onshore and offshore wind farms.

During the Chain Reaction conference, speakers called on the Government to make sure planning consent procedures for renewable projects were both transparent and fast, and that access to the national grid be made easier for those already generating alternative energy. …

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