Leading offshore wind farm developer Ørsted, formerly DONG Energy, welcomed officials from the Liverpool City Region to its Kings Wharf operations base on Friday 1 December.
Representatives from local businesses, councils and authorities including Councillor Anne McLachlan, Mayor of Wirral and Sefton MP Bill Esterson, were invited to tour the operations and maintenance facility which serves two Ørsted wind farms off the Liverpool coast, Burbo Bank and Burbo Bank Extension.
The delegates were met by Matthew Wright, UK Managing Director at Ørsted who gave an overview of Ørsted’s presence in the North West, before they toured the brand new operations base.
Cllr Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council said:
“Wirral has a hard fought and deserved reputation as a centre of excellence for clean energy manufacturing and innovation. This latest developments show the growing confidence global businesses have in our borough’s ability to deliver.
“Wirral as part of the City Region has gained the Centre for Offshore Renewable Engineering designation, the only such designation on the west coast of England, yet further proof of our position at the centre of this growing industry.
“Ørsted have created jobs and brought new skills and expertise to the area, creating a first-rate new facility on our waterfront. It is fantastic news for the entire Liverpool City Region to have a market-leading clean energy organisation opening a flagship new site in our area.
“All over our region we are seeing exciting, transformational regeneration plans coming to fruition – seeing a global organisation such as Ørsted choose Wirral as their newest base is clear, unequivocal proof that our economic plans are working.”
Matthew Wright, UK Managing Director, Ørsted, said:
“We’ve been operating out of the North West for over ten years now and have invested billions of pounds in the area. However, our presence in the community extends much wider than operating our business from here.
“We have partnered with Teach First to engage and inspire young people in schools across Merseyside. Our community benefit fund has helped local organisations and community groups in the area and we also support the New Brighton life boat station.
“It was great to meet the people in the Liverpool area working to make things happen, and have the opportunity to tell them about our activities here and discuss ways to work together. We’re proud to be part of this great region’s community and economy.”
The multi-million pound facility opened earlier in 2017, and employs 45 full-time staff. The building is used for the storage of materials and equipment required for the ongoing maintenance of the wind farms, as well as office facilities for staff. A new ladder on the quay wall also enables boats to “push on” directly, allowing easy access for technicians to board.
During the construction of Kings Wharf, the area in front of the facility was also restored, including new benches and granite paving, as part of Ørsted’s commitments to the local community.
Ørsted recently changed its name from DONG Energy, short for Danish Oil and Natural Gas, to represent its shift away from fossil fuels to focus fully on green energy. H.C. Ørsted was a Danish scientist who discovered electromagnetism in 1820, laying the foundation for the way power is produced today.
Ørsted in the North West
Ørsted has been operating in the North West for over a decade:
- Ørsted sustained pipeline of offshore wind farms in the North West represents a £5.4 billion investment over the period of 2005 – 2019
- Ørsted’s two offshore windfarms off the coast of Liverpool Bay generate enough clean energy for over 310,000 homes.
- Burbo Bank, opened in 2007 and was the first offshore windfarm to demonstrate 3.6MW turbine technology. In 2017, Ørsted again raised the bar by being the first company in the world to install 8MW turbines, pushing innovation and driving down costs for the industry.
- Ørsted’s multi-million pound operations and maintenance centre at Kings Wharf serves both the windfarms and around 45 people are employed at the site.
- Ørsted has committed to a Burbo Bank Extension Community Fund worth approximately £225,000 each year for the lifetime of the Project. The fund benefits local community groups and organisations in the North West, for example the New Brighton Mermaid Trail.
- Ørsted has partnered with the education charity Teach First to address educational inequalities in the North, supporting Teach First on improving teacher attraction and retention, and pupil progression in Merseyside.
- Ørsted’s nationwide partnership with the RNLI includes funding the running costs of the RNLI station in New Brighton.