Teesside Close to Being Capital of Offshore Industry; Teesside's Supply Base for Offshore Wind Is Taking Shape, as Both a UK-First Research Facility and an Offshore Processing Centre Moves Closer to Reality. Kelley Price Reports

Article excerpt

The UK's first facility of its kind to make Teesside a hub for advanced offshore wind manufacturing has moved a step forward.

The PS3.3m Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy, with world leading technology engineering organisation TWI, will develop ways of making turbines stronger and more cost effective.

It is expected to kickstart the Teesside Advanced Manufacturing Centre - a leading research facility that companies can cluster around, to "drive efficiency and innovation within the supply chains for sectors such as offshore wind."

Meanwhile, Tata steel has launched a PS2m offshore processing centre (OPC) at its site in Hartlepool.

Middlesbrough Council has approved plans to help kickstart the financing for the Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy at the town's South West Iron Masters site.

It's thought the project could help secure the research and development end of the renewables supply chain, enabling Middlesbrough to attract the higher value jobs and "catalytic benefits" of an advanced engineering cluster.

The authority stepped in and took on a direct leadership role for the project to stop it being located elsewhere.

Around 20 engineering jobs will be created, while a further 200 production jobs could be generated by firms attracted to the site.

Turbine towers will also be tested to destruction, so that manufacturers can prove the strength of their products to any financiers and insurers. …