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27 June 2013, 19:02
Navitus Bay Development Limited (NBDL) has announced a shortlist of three ports - Poole, Portland and Yarmouth - to host the wind park's operations and maintenance functions.
If teh wind park gets the go-ahead, the O&M base will effectively be its headquarters over its 25 year lifespan, and is expected to provide an economic value to the region of £670 million over this time.
The base is also expected to support around 160 jobs annually, for example skilled technicians to maintain the turbines.
According to latest independent projections, the wind park has the potential to add economic value to the region of up to £1.85 billion over the lifetime of the project, and support up to 2,000 jobs during peak construction years.
Mike Unsworth, Project Director of Navitus Bay:
"I am delighted that following constructive discussions with Poole, Portland and Yarmouth, we are able to commit to using a local port for operations and maintenance.
"These port authorities have worked closely with us to get to this point, and I would encourage local businesses to do likewise.
"We will now seek to identify further opportunities for these ports to host construction and installation activities.
"The memoranda of understanding demonstrate our commitment to working with local partners wherever possible, and to realising the full potential of the wind park to the region."
"We are actively encouraging as many local businesses as possible to contact us via our website to see how they can capitalise on these new opportunities."
The types of contract likely to be awarded during the construction of the wind park includes steel fabrication, concrete supply, onshore civil engineering, labour supply, plant hire and marine support services. During the operations and maintenance phase, opportunities will exist for skilled technicians and vessel operators.
Jim Stewart, Chief Executive, Poole Harbour Commissioners:
"The Port of Poole is well placed to provide Navitus Bay Development Limited with first class port facilities and excellent service levels which we believe are crucial for the success of this project.
"The Port of Poole looks forward to working closely with the developers to finalise the full details of the operations base, with the ultimate aim of bringing jobs and economic benefits to Poole".
Ian McQuade, General Manager, Portland Port:
"This is a very exciting and welcome development. We have been in close discussion with Eneco, and more recently Navitus Bay, for a number of years and believe that Portland offers the ideal solution for both their O&M requirements and their construction needs.
"This is also very good news not just for Weymouth and Portland but for the whole of Dorset and potentially represents a massive boost to the local economy not just now but for many years to come.
"We look forward to working closely with Navitus Bay over the next few months to agree the necessary MOU."
Chris Lisher, Chief Executive/ Harbour Master, Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners:
"Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners are delighted that the Harbour is being considered by Navitus Bay for its Operations and Maintenance base.
"We see this not only as a great opportunity for the Harbour but also for the whole of the Isle of Wight. Navitus Bay could bring significant employment opportunities and business of all types to the Island.
"We look forward to working with Navitus Bay for the benefit of both parties and the residents on the Island."
Cllr Xena Dion (Penn Hill Ward), Portfolio Holder Environment and Consumer Protection, Local Economy and Transportation, Poole Borough Council:
"We are delighted that Poole has been included in the shortlist of local ports that Navitus are considering to host the wind park's operations and maintenance functions.
"We know that the decision for approval of the wind park is not for Borough of Poole to make but we certainly should be working with Navitus to ensure that if and when it does go ahead local people will stand to benefit in terms of employment and business opportunities."
Cllr Luisa Hillard (Ward of East Cowes), Cabinet Member for Sustainability, Isle of Wight County Council:
"It is always a pleasure to welcome new employers to the Isle of Wight who are attracted by our beautiful location and great climate.
"As we frequently say in my home: 'Sunny and windy - it's a good day for sailing'. It's good for generating electricity too! I hope that Navitus Bay will appreciate all that Yarmouth and the wider Island have to offer their company in return for quality jobs and opportunities for our workforce, who are developing expertise in green industry.
"The Isle of Wight Council is committed to making our Island more self-sufficient in energy and the Navitus Bay off-shore wind park is an important piece of this puzzle, providing renewable energy to homes and businesses."