The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP will visit the factory – the centerpiece of a £310m investment – as the first 75m blade is unveiled to Siemens customers, guests and the media.
The blade is the first of hundreds to be manufactured in Hull every year for Siemens’ industry-leading 7MW and next-generation 8MW turbines and will be among the first supplied to DONG Energy for the Race Bank wind farm off the Norfolk and Lincolnshire coast.
The milestone comes less than two years after a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the site at Hull’s Alexandra Dock.
Since then Siemens and partner Associated British Ports (ABP) have transformed the under-utilised waterfront location into a hub for wind power manufacturing, logistics and assembly.
The development is one of Siemens’ largest-ever investments worldwide in manufacturing facilities and has been completed ahead of date.
Mr Clark said: “This is exactly the relationship we want to see between our large infrastructure projects in the UK and our supply chain companies as part of our industrial strategy.
“Hull has established itself as an important manufacturing and engineering centre for this innovative and exciting new industry. In the coming years the new offshore wind projects that this factory will supply could generate enough clean electricity to power over three million homes and businesses – all with wind turbine blades produced by the dedicated and highly skilled Siemens workforce right here in Hull.
“Since 2010, there has been over £52bn of investment in renewables in the UK – creating thousands of highly skilled jobs and opportunities here in the UK to support our low-carbon economy.”
So far Siemens has employed almost 700 people in Hull, with 96% living within a 30-mile radius of the city, having received more than 23,000 job applications.
A further 100 permanent staff are employed at Alexandra Dock working for Siemens’ suppliers and recruitment up to a total of 1,000 people will continue into 2017 as the site becomes fully operational. Hundreds more jobs have been created during construction and in the supply chain.
Siemens UK chief executive Juergen Maier said: “We are witnessing probably the best example of industrial strategy in action we have in the UK today – creating new, local, skilled jobs, sustainable growth and the latest renewable technology, benefiting the UK economy and our society.”
Clark MacFarlane, UK managing director, Siemens Wind Power, said: “As we celebrate the first of many, many blades to be manufactured at this factory, we must acknowledge the investment and trust placed in us by our customers.
“That has been absolutely critical in enabling Siemens to deliver this superb facility.
“At the ground-breaking in January 2015 I made a promise that we would build a world-class factory that would be an asset to the industry and bring real benefit to the local community. I’m very proud to say we have delivered on that promise.”
Michael Hannibal, Chief Executive Offshore, Siemens Wind Power, added: “This new manufacturing plant is a major part of establishing offshore wind power as a key pillar of a sustainable energy mix in Europe. At the same time we are creating 1,000 attractive jobs here and thereby supporting sustainable regeneration in the Humber region.”
The Siemens factory and associated facilities are Hull’s largest-ever inward investment and at the forefront of an exciting wave of development as Hull prepares to be the UK City of Culture in 2017.
Hull City Council leader councilor Steve Brady said: “With this world-class facility coming fully into production, Hull will be firmly at the centre of a new industrial era as we embrace the opportunities of the low-carbon economy.
“Importantly, hundreds of local people will have high-quality employment within a company with a global reputation for manufacturing and technological excellence.”
Development of the full Alexandra Dock site, including completion of a new harbour for pre-assembly and load out of wind turbine components, will continue into 2017.