ABP’s Port of Grimsby, home to the largest base for offshore wind operations and maintenance (O&M) activity in the UK.
The UK’s leading ports group, Associated British Ports (ABP) is supporting Maritime UK’s ‘Offshore Wind Plan’, reaffirming the critical role its ports play in enabling the UK’s clean energy transition.
The comprehensive ‘Offshore Wind Plan’ makes a series of recommendations for how the maritime sector, the offshore wind sector, and governments can work together to deliver maximum economic benefit from the growth of offshore wind across the maritime supply chain in sectors like ports, shipbuilding, crewing and professional services.
Key recommendations include the creation of quality career pathways for young people, rewarding higher UK supply chain content in offshore wind projects, reforming the planning system to enable green projects to be delivered quicker and encouraging lenders and investors to finance infrastructure and vessels.
Opportunities identified in the plan include building vessels in the UK to support developments and further growing UK ports as centres for manufacturing and assembly for offshore developments.
ABP is already an offshore wind leader at its Ports of Grimsby and Hull, supporting O&M and blade manufacturing in Green Port Hull. The company also has ambitions to build on its expertise and collaborate with partners to develop additional facilities to support green growth in the sector at the Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF) and Future Port Talbot.
Development of floating offshore wind in Port Talbot could kick-start a green industrial revolution in Wales, resulting in thousands of high-quality jobs, triggering the growth of a new supply chain, and creating new export opportunities.
Andy Reay, Head of Offshore Wind for ABP, commented: “We are proud to support the launch of Maritime UK’s ‘Offshore Wind Plan’. Our ports, such as Grimsby – the world’s largest offshore wind O&M port – demonstrate how offshore wind can catalyse investment and high-quality job growth, an impact that should be hugely boosted by the new generations of floating offshore wind.
“We need a strong partnership approach between supply chain players, industry, governments and local communities to achieve the ambitions of the plan and deliver environmental and economic opportunities for the UK.”
This commitment to supporting green growth projects is closely linked to ABP’s net zero sustainability strategy, ABP Ready for Tomorrow, which was launched on 28 February this year and sets out a plan to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions from ABP’s own operations by 2040.
The ‘Offshore Wind Plan’ will be unveiled at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult at the Port of Grimsby, in partnership with Renewable UK and Bibby Marine. Building on this collaboration, the event will see the creation of a new Joint Maritime and Renewable Working Group, bringing industry partners and government departments together to focus on delivering the plan’s recommendations.
Commenting on the launch of the Offshore Wind Plan, Maritime UK Chair Robin Mortimer, said: “The maritime sector already plays a key role in our collective efforts to deliver a cleaner and more sustainable future by the middle of this century.
“Maritime UK’s Offshore Wind Plan sets out how delivering energy security through growing offshore wind can drive economic growth and job creation across the country through the maritime supply chain.
“With its people, expertise, equipment and infrastructure, the maritime sector is present throughout the lifecycle of offshore wind and is uniquely placed to deliver well-paid, high-quality jobs and new industries, particularly in coastal towns and cities.”