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Secretary of State opens E.ON’s Humber Gateway Offshore Wind Farm Operations Base

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E.ON’s Humber Gateway Offshore Wind Farm Operations and Maintenance base was officially opened today by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP.

In the same week, with 61 of the 73 foundations already installed, E.ON celebrates the installation of the first two wind turbines – a major milestone for the project.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “I’m delighted to open the latest addition to E.ON’s state-of the art renewables operation which is bringing new jobs, revenue and expertise to the biggest Enterprise Zone in the country.

“With the majority of the North Sea’s offshore operations thriving side by side, the Humber is becoming, quite literally, a powerhouse in the British economy and is a vital part of the Government’s long term economic plan to help secure a better future by spreading businesses, jobs and skills across the country.”

Located on Grimsby Fish Dock, North Quay, Grimsby, the site will support the ongoing operation and maintenance of the offshore wind farm, once complete and during the current construction stage. The base made up of office space, equipment storage and vessel mooring, will be used by a team dedicated to operating and maintaining the wind farm for the lifetime of the project.

Adrian Chatterton, Head of Construction for E.ON’s renewable business in the UK, said: “Today is a real milestone achievement in the successful development of our Humber Gateway Offshore Wind Farm which once complete will contribute towards meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets.

“Construction of the site is well underway. 61 foundations are already installed, we’ve started to lay the offshore cable and installation of the first two turbines began this week ahead of schedule.

“To date this has proved to be an important project for the area, creating a number of job opportunities and business for locally based companies during the construction process. We hope to continue this success through to the projects proposed completion in 2015.”

Councillor Chris Shaw, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council said: “E.ON’s long-term commitment to the area is terrific news for North East Lincolnshire- bringing with it jobs, not only directly, but also in the local supply chain that feeds the business. The Humber Estuary is fast becoming the energy capital of Europe, and here in Grimsby, we’re at the heart of that transformation.

“We’ve witnessed around £20m investment in various facilities, including E.ON’s and we’ve seen at least 300 new jobs created up to now with an estimate of 1,100 once all the wind farms are constructed and operating. This is a great example of private and public sector working together to help regeneration of our area.”

John Fitzgerald, ABP Port Director, Humber added: “The Humber ports have been critical to UK’s energy supply chain for decades. The Port of Grimsby is at the entrance to the UK’s energy estuary and has firmly established as a hub for offshore wind operations, maintenance and service for several major European energy companies.

“Further investment in this developing sector is encouraging news for the long term prosperity of Grimsby and for job creation in the area. We are delighted to welcome E.ON to our port and look forward to a long and productive partnership.”

The Humber Gateway Wind Farm is located 8km off the Holderness coast, East Riding of Yorkshire. The wind farm will have 73 turbines and an installed capacity of up to 219MW.