Great Yarmouth goes for second round of outer harbour growth
Blog by Ranjit Singh Nagra, Sales Manager at Peel Ports
Peel Ports Great Yarmouth is at the heart of the UK energy sector and the growth opportunities that go hand in hand with this.
Within close proximity to the world’s largest market for offshore energy projects in the UK, Great Yarmouth has always been a hub for businesses operating in or supplying the industry, everything from manufacturers to installers.
We have built up more than 50-years experience supporting the sector and it is our knowledge, coupled with a combination of physical and locational characteristics, that makes our East of England port an ideal strategic option.
Great Yarmouth is the closest deep-water port to the Southern North Sea market and offers a favourable environment for offshore wind production. With shallow waters, consistent wind speeds and proximity to key UK and European port locations, it is unsurprising that the growth opportunities at our port are numerous.
That is why, to date, we have invested £12 million to extend the outer harbour to become a supply base for offshore projects such as the construction and installation of Galloper and EastAngliaOne windfarms. This has included investment in an LHM280 Crane, with a lifting capacity of 84 tonnes, to enable us to handle larger volumes of bulk and unitised cargo.
Further upgrades to the outer harbour to accommodate heavy components include a strengthened 120,000m2 of space for offshore renewables, a 27.2t/m2 heavy lift pad area and a RoRo Ramp for the delivery of tower sections and monopiles. We have also invested in 360-metre of quay space to allow multiple large jack-up vessels to berth simultaneously.
However, in March, a new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal was launched to further position the UK as a global leader in clean energy growth, with a third of British electricity to be produced by offshore wind power by 2030.
The industry has set out plans to invest £250 million in the development of the country’s supply chain, ensuring we can deliver an expected fivefold increase in global exports to £2.6 billion by 2030.
At the centre of this strategy is the East of England including Great Yarmouth. Capital investment in energy worth £50bn is planned for the region by 2020, with the world’s largest wind farm in development off the coast.
The Southern North Sea (SNS) gas industry is at a pivotal stage, with decades of investment and opportunity stretching ahead to recover the estimated 8.8tcf of reserves. While the area is also central to a multi-billion decommissioning industry to remove thousands of tonnes of ageing infrastructure.
As well as developments in the sector, there are also regional changes. The Crown Estate is planning more auction rounds, opening up the availability of land around the port which could lead to further site expansion.
We want to harness this exponential growth opportunity, and that is why plans are underway for the next phase of outer harbour expansion.
This will create the ideal hub for windfarm component manufacturers looking to enter the UK market and partners looking at deep water quay side access.
Building on our upgrades over the last four years, we are proposing considerable expansion to our Southern Terminal, including an additional 10 hectares of storage space allowing two projects to run simultaneously.
Additional storage will be complimented with further facilities, including a second RoRo ramp, which has been a preferred method for components to be delivered, and another heavy lift pad for the assembly of heavy components and project cargo items. All of this will be supported with a 350-metre additional quay area, allowing more berthing of various vessel types.
There will also be an additional 30 acres available to companies interested in creating a windfarm component manufacturing facility, backed by local authorities.
Our investment is key in creating a port infrastructure that supports offshore wind farm development through preassembly, construction, installation and operations and management (O&M).
Developing our reputation as a centre of excellence for O&M, we are planning to create a Dedicated Multiuser facility for Crew Transfer Vessels, Supply Offshore Vessels and storage of cables and other supplies.
At the moment, nearly 4GW of offshore wind power is operational off the East of England, accounting for 52 percent of the UK’s current 7.5GW installed capacity.
However, the industry is telling us that they intend to create 30GW of capacity by 2030, and developers to utilise 60 percent UK content, in the development of the windfarms.
We are looking to harness the growth opportunities that this presents with our outer harbour expansion and in turn offer manufacturers of windfarm components like towers, monopiles or blades and other related industries a strategic hub to operate from.