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Lowestoft port completes first phase of £300,000 clearance to create renewable energy hub

A vessel carrying an offshore wind farm substation sails away from the port of Lowestoft. Picture by: Andrew Papworth.

A vessel carrying an offshore wind farm substation sails away from the port of Lowestoft. Picture by: Andrew Papworth.

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The first phase of a project to open up more land for Lowestoft port’s bid to become a recognised renewable energy hub has been completed.

The £300,000 demolition work will clear a 13-acre site at the port’s Shell Quay for development as owners Associated British Ports (ABP) bid to attract more major wind farm operators. The company has invested £1m in the last quarter alone.

It follows an announcement in October that ABP has signed a new contract with Norfolk boat builder Goodchild Marine Services for a new pilot boat.

The demolition is focused on the former Shell Lowestoft base which served the Southern North Sea operations of Shell before its closure in 2004.

Work began in August and so far eight acres have been cleared with the remainder of the area expected to be free of buildings and structures by early 2019, ready for use by industry.

The port has also benefited from a £10m investment by ScottishPower Renewables in a new operations and maintenance (O&M) facility – thought to be the largest private sector investment in Lowestoft since the £7m investment in the Tower Road Retail Park.

Andrew Harston, ABP short sea ports director, said: “We are committed to investing in the future of the region and will continue to improve our offering to existing and potential customers.

“The new site will afford massive potential for a range of different industrial uses. It would make a perfect base for additional operations and maintenance centres to support the offshore wind industry, which would further underpin Lowestoft’s position as the East of England’s renewable energy hub. We have engaged architects to help bring this vision to life for our energy partners.

“We are proud to support Lowestoft’s development as a strategically important centre for the UK’s offshore wind sector, and are pleased to work with partners of the calibre of ScottishPower to build on the region’s history in offshore energy.”

ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia One offshore wind farm project has attracted other businesses to set up at Lowestoft.

In October, World Marine Offshore chose the port as its base for work on the wind farm, where it has taken indoor storage, quay, yard and office space.

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