400 jobs could be created following the announcement that SeAH will establish a monopile production facility on the south bank of the Humber

Able Marine Energy Park is set to become a vital part of the brave new world of energy production after one of the world’s leading pipe manufacturers confirmed its intention to establish a monopile production facility on the south bank of the Humber, potentially creating around 400 jobs.

Monopiles, which are driven into the seabed, provide the foundations for offshore wind turbines and currently there are no production facilities in the UK. Korean manufacturer SeAH has signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding with Able UK to use the Able Marine Energy Park development.

Able UK’s Executive Chairman Peter Stephenson said: “We have a clear and unambiguous policy from Whitehall through the Sector Deal and increasingly demanding targets for power generation and UK content.

“Combine this with the sector’s extraordinary efforts in terms of developing new products and significantly reducing costs and it is set to become a dominant factor in a post Covid-19 UK economy.

“Able Marine Energy Park can and will play a vital role in this process to, first and foremost, provide purpose-built heavy-duty deepwater quays and a large expanse of hinterland.

“Subject to our receiving the necessary support, the first quays will be available towards the end of 2022 to coincide with the needs of both manufacturers and the developers of offshore wind farms.”

The Chief Executive of SeAH, Hyungkun Nam, said: “The UK has the strongest market and we intend to play an important role in the ongoing development of the offshore wind sector. 

“We recognise the considerable opportunity to be the first significant UK-based monopile supplier. Able is the sole partner with whom we wish to progress matters. We seek to bring to reality what would be a significant investment with an initial annual capacity of 162,000 tonnes and rising up to 320,000 tonnes and the prospect of providing around 400 new jobs.”

Able Marine Energy Park is part of the 1,695-acre Able Humber Port and provides a fully consented, £475m development which will provide 1,279sqm of heavy-duty, deepwater quays supported by 198 acres of adjacent installation yards and 353 acres of manufacturing and storage land. Able's bespoke design will fully accommodate the manufacture, assembly, storage and installation of all offshore wind components. The vast majority of the UK’s 2,292 installed offshore wind turbines have a monopile foundation, barely a handful of which to date were produced in the UK.

Councillor Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, welcomed the news: “This news is a significant boost for the prospects of this site becoming a major economic force locally, regionally and nationally. The Government has signalled its intention to support the North and is demonstrating a commitment to ensure sustainability, security and value for money in the energy markets for homes and industry.

“This is set alongside the Government’s ambitions to make the UK even more attractive to environmental global investment. The latest announcement comes in the wake of Government cash through the Greater Lincolnshire LEP to develop a multi-million-pound pumping station – a critical piece of the jigsaw to enable site development while protecting homes and businesses.”

Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “This is a clear and very positive vote of confidence for this strategically significant development. The Greater Lincolnshire LEP has already signalled its support by providing funding for the south bank wide Killingholme Marshes Drainage Scheme.”

The Humber, as the UK’s Energy Estuary, is making a major contribution towards meeting the UK’s net zero carbon emissions target and plays a vital role in delivering that aspiration.