Published Date: 30 March 2010
By Paul Clifford
HUNDREDS of jobs could be created in the North East through a new £80m wind turbine factory.
German manufacturing giant Siemens have announced the offshore production facility could be built in Tyneside or Humberside. The move would create about 700 jobs in the factory and a further 1,500 in the supply chain. Siemens said it is working closely with regional development agencies, and the new turbines could be running by 2015 to meet future demand for renewable energy in the UK. Peter Loscher, president and chief executive of Siemens, said: "With the new wind turbine production plant in the UK, we're pushing ahead with our strategy of investments in attractive growth markets for eco-friendly technology. "In the foreseeable future, the wind power market in the UK will be characterised by major offshore projects, and we'll extend our market leadership with the new production plant." Andreas Goss, the firm's chief executive in the UK, said: "The new Siemens wind turbine factory will create about 700 new local jobs once it is in production, as well as additional indirect jobs in the supply chain. "With the anticipated growth in the renewables market, there is potential for expansion of the facility in the future. "This £80m investment, plus additional investment in our UK infrastructure for renewables, will provide a much-needed economic boost for the region, as well as driving growth in the UK's innovative wind power industry." Siemens has said the new factory will be built on the banks of whichever river attracts the most investment – the Tyne or the Humber. North East regional minister Nick Brown has given his backing to a factory on Tyneside. The Newcastle East and Wallsend MP said: "I think our ports and facilities here are a great offer and I look forward to a bid from North East England. "We have already attracted offshore wind turbines here and we have room in the region for more. "Our case is very strong, we will continue to back it, and we will leave no potential support unexplored."