Siemens has opened a £310m wind turbine blade factory in Hull with a warning that any EU tariffs will damage its prospects. The plant will create 1,000 jobs to service offshore wind farms, and the first 75-metre blade left the production line on Thursday. Juergen Maier, Siemens UK chief executive, hailed the plant as the “best example of industrial strategy in action we have in the UK today” in a speech before Greg Clark, the business, energy and industrial strategy secretary. Mr Maier told the FT the original investment decision was made in 2014 with exports in mind. “We have a full order book of British orders for three years. We are ready to export. We have some work to get costs down. If by that point we find that tariffs have offset the cost savings we have made it will be a problem. Siemens will assemble 7MW and next-generation 8MW turbines beside the factory and supply the Race Bank wind farm being built by Denmark’s Dong Energy off Norfolk and Lincolnshire. The site at Hull’s Alexandra Dock is the size of 78 football pitches and one of Siemens’ largest investments worldwide in manufacturing facilities. The blades are made of balsa wood, resin and fibreglass. The city hopes it will attract other investors even though Dong Energy scrapped plans to assemble turbines on the south bank of the Humber in August.
FT 1st Dec 2016 read more »