Denmark's Dong Energy to build manufacturing hub at Able Marine Energy Park in UK

One of the world's biggest wind farm developers has signed an agreement to set up a manufacturing hub in the Humber, a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England.

Renewable energy firm Dong Energy had signed a memorandum of understanding with Able UK on the south bank, for building a £400-million energy park at North Killingholme.

Dong would seek to attract key international suppliers to the site, in a move that could lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs.

Welcoming the move, Able executive chairman Peter Stephenson said this was a major leap forward for both the Able Marine Energy Park and the ambitions to establish the Humber as a world-class centre for renewable energy technology.

"The park provides a unique opportunity to operate on a scale that can deliver the cost targets which are needed by the industry and we are delighted this has been recognised by the major operator.

"The Government, and industry, have long advocated the creation of a strong and viable renewable energy cluster in the Humber, close to the major east coast wind farm developments."

Dong Energy believes the 800 acre site, which had been the subject of a bitter legal battle with rival landowner Associated British Ports, was an ideal location for the venture.

Able wanted to develop the site as Europe's largest offshore energy park and the expectation was that with Dong, the world's largest customer for offshore wind, installed as an ''anchor tenant'', other supply chain companies would follow suit.

Joachim Steenstrup, head of Strategic Supply Chain for Dong Energy,  said the company hoped to create a ''sizeable hub with multiple suppliers.''

He added, ''Able Marine Park is very close to what you would come up with, if you had to do a painting of the optimal cluster for the renewables industry on a blank canvas - close to the sea with abundant quayside and adjoining land to manufacturer, assemble, and store goods.

''We certainly subscribe to the fact that it truly is the 'big space in the right place' and we do not underestimate the commitment already demonstrated by Able. In our dialogue with Able, it has also become clear that we share the same thoughts on reducing cost of electricity from renewables by creating a sizeable hub with multiple suppliers.''