United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Able Marine Energy Park gets MPs' backing

UK: The Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) in northeast England has cleared a development stage after it obtained parliamentary backing.

The Able Marine Energy Park will support offshore wind projects
The Able Marine Energy Park will support offshore wind projects

A special parliamentary committee was formed earlier this year after the Associated British Ports (ABP) attempted to block developer Able UK from constructing the terminal. ABP owns some of the land in the development site.

The 3.2 square kilometre quay, on the banks of the River Humber, will be available to offshore wind developers for storage, assembly and installation purposes. Able UK said the site could deliver as many as 4,000 jobs.

Able UK submitted a Development Consent Order to the government, which includes rights to compulsorily purchase land. ABP petitioned against the application.

Coincidentally, ABP is developing Siemens' £310 million offshore manufacturing facility Hull. This is located on the other side of the river from the AMEP site.

The committee rejected ABP's claims and allowed the order to proceed unamended.

Able UK group development director Neil Etherington said he was surprised by the early announcement from the committee as he expected a decision in early December.

"We thought we were only half way through the process. The committee went in to a private session and after three quarters of an hour they said, 'We do not believe the petitions are valid'. The ABP petitions were chucked out and that was it.

"It showed the politicians saw straight through the smoke and mirrors that ABP had dressed up," said Etherington, "It will send a very positive message out to the offshore wind sector and beyond."

An ABP spokesperson said, "We are disappointed that the Parliamentary Joint Committee reached its decision without fully examining all of the evidence.

"We will now consider our options."

The £450 million port received government approval in December 2013 but has been held up by ABP's objections.

Etherington said the marine park would be operational in 2018.

Nearby offshore wind farms include the 4GW Hornsea Zone, Westermost Rough (210MW) and Humber Gateway (219MW).

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