Work starts on first major project for £2.5bn offshore wind farm
- Credit: © James Bass 2018
The first major building project as part of a £2.5 billion offshore wind farm began in earnest at a groundbreaking event.
Officials from ScottishPower and Great Yarmouth company 3sun Group joined Waveney MP Peter Aldous in starting the construction of the new operations and maintenance building for the project at Hamilton Docks in Lowestoft.
The building, which will support the day-to-day operations of the East Anglia ONE wind farm, will employ around 100 people throughout the 30-year plus lifespan of the wind farm.
It came on the same day Great Yarmouth company 3sun Group were awarded a £2.5 million contract to service the construction stage of East Anglia ONE from the new hub.
Mr Aldous said: 'There has been a lot of talk about the offshore wind opportunities for Lowestoft for probably a decade but I think this is one of the first tangible sights you can actually see on the ground of a significant project and investment which will bring opportunities and jobs into the area.
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'Being operations and maintenance it is not just going to be here today, gone tomorrow, it is business that is going to be here for many years.' He added: 'We need to be doing more to make a compelling case to get real investment in the sector so that local businesses and local people can fully partake of these opportunities.
'We need to step up and look at infrastructure and look at skills and from the government's perspective they are working on a sector deal for the industry and that will have an emphasis on local content and opportunities for local people.'
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Charlie Jordan, ScottishPower Renewables project director for East Anglia ONE, said: 'It is a very exciting day for the project.
'The hub is very much the home of the offshore wind farm and that's where we will have our team managing the project and hundreds of highly skilled jobs working out of the port are going to be working on the project over its 30-year plus lifetime.'
Graham Hacon, chief executive of 3sun Group, said: 'It is a big boost for local employment, we're looking to create 30 new jobs, whether they are technicians, office-based roles, security guards, or cleaners, it is really good for the region.'