UK’s first offshore windmill tubular foundation manufacturing facility.

TAG Energy Solutions, the North East of England-based engineering specialist, has secured the financing required to create the UK’s first offshore windmill tubular foundation manufacturing facility for North Sea wind farms.

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The £20 million facility, supported by a funding package from investors Platina Partners and Environmental Technologies Fund (ETF), will ensure Teesside will beat other UK regions to become the first area to host a major renewable energy component manufacturing plant.

The production facility will be located at Haverton Hill, Billingham and be a major boost for an area that was named as the most vulnerable to be affected by a cut in public spending in recent research. The investment has the potential to create up to 400 jobs.

The creation of the facility will enable TAG to deliver the foundation and transition pieces which will support the thousands of windmills that will generate carbon free power in the North Sea.

Based at its current location on the North Bank of the River Tees on Teesside, TAG will develop an automated tubular production facility for the rolling and welding of large diameter tubulars and the construction of subsea foundations for offshore windmills.

The initial phase of development will create 100 new jobs for a core workforce and a further 300 jobs to service orders.

David Eason, Chairman of TAG Energy Solutions, said: “This is a major step forward in positioning UK manufacturing as a serious player in the creation of offshore wind farms. With the support of a robust and experienced supply chain, together with a locally-sourced and highly-regarded skills base, we are perfectly placed to create a world-class manufacturing facility serving the renewable energy sector.

“With direct access to the North Sea through our riverside location, we have a geographical advantage over international competitors, which will ensure the UK, and the North East, is at the heart of this new energy market.”

Alex Dawson, Chief Executive of TAG Energy Solutions, said: “Offshore wind presents a tremendous opportunity with investment planned on known projects amounting to over £100 billion in UK waters alone.

“We’re currently the market leader in installed wind farms yet only a tiny proportion of the investment stays within UK plc. Other countries have already taken the lead by investing in the offshore wind supply chain meaning that a huge proportion of the developers’ money and the subsidies from the UK tax payer end up in hands of those other countries. Hopefully the UK can now start redressing this imbalance.”

The team at TAG has shown great foresight and commitment of personal money in bringing the development to its current stage. The forward thinking investment by Platina and ETF and £3 million of grants already committed by Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Regional Development Agency, One North East, will now ensure that this facility is completed.

Ian Williams, ONE North East’s Director of Business and Industry, said: “This announcement demonstrates the confidence that this region has in its ability to become a world-leader in manufacturing for the renewable energy market. When you consider the other energy-sector focused countries bordering the North Sea, such as Norway and the Netherlands, which could have been the first to establish this kind of facility, it is a fantastic achievement that the North East is on course to become the hub for renewable energy development.”

Sam Goss, Senior Investment Manager at Platina Partners, said: “The creation of this facility will be a huge boost for the North East and job opportunities in the region. TAG is able to deliver a significant opportunity to support the renaissance of manufacturing in the region and provide a long-term stimulus to the regional and national economies.”

Patrick Sheehan, Partner with ETF, said: With growth of UK industry wind farm developers now need to show similar commitment in placing work with TAG and other new UK players so that they can have the efficient local and integrated supply chain they need.”

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