Alnmaritec, an aluminium boat builder with a focus on the offshore wind sector, has been operating at the Port on a temporary basis for the last year but has now committed to a major long term expansion.
From 2011, a 100-strong workforce will now construct 15+ vessels per annum at the Port’s Wimbourne Quay terminal. Alnmaritec Managing Director Chris Millman confirmed “We chose the Port of Blyth as the best location to expand our operations and are now well placed to take advantage in the expected boom in the requirement for offshore windfarm support vessels.”
Sheffield based contract manufacturer MTL Group, has also confirmed a long term agreement to supply offshore secondary steel work for the manufacturers of offshore wind turbine foundation jackets and monopiles. The company is due to start operations before the end of the year with structures of up to 150 tonnes being exported over the adjacent deep water quays.
These developments coincided with the launch of the Blyth Estuary Renewable Energy Zone (BEREZ), an initiative promoted by the Port in conjunction with Northumberland County Council. It is anticipated that BEREZ will act as a catalyst for further renewable energy related development, as well as support the cluster already located on the estuary.
Port of Blyth is also home to the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) and Clipper Windpower’s Centre of Excellence. The first offshore turbines in the UK are located immediately off Blyth and one of the earliest onshore UK windfarms is situated on its East Pier. The development of a £250 million+ biomass power plant by RES Group at the Port’s Battleship Wharf terminal has also been announced subject to a successful planning process now underway.