Wind farm operator agrees 25 year lease for Yarmouth port base

Eliza O'Toole deputy chairman of Great Yarmouth Port

Eliza O'Toole deputy chairman of Great Yarmouth Port - Credit: James Bass

Great Yarmouth's emergence as a home for the region's burgeoning energy sector was again underscored after the operators of the Dudgeon offshore windfarm confirmed it would be home to its operations and maintenance base.

Last week the government confirmed it was committing an extra £3m to Gorleston's Beacon Park site in a bid to attract more energy firms to the area.

Now, in a separate move, Dudgeon Offshore Wind has signed an initial 25 year lease with Great Yarmouth Port Company Ltd to lease 1.7 acres of land on South Denes Road, a warehouse on the demise and access to the river harbour quay.

This site, which will allow for 24 hour/seven day a week operations, will be the Dudgeon base for the operations and maintenance activity during the lifetime of the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, which is to be built 20 miles off the Cromer coast.

The firm said it plans to create a purpose-designed operations and maintenance base featuring offices, a marine logistic centre and warehouse, through a combination of new build and modification of the existing warehouse. Work will be completed in time for the start of electricity generation inearly 2017.

After signing the agreement, Halfdan Brustad, Chairman of Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited said: 'This location offers Dudgeon the flexibility to use a variety of different vessels and puts Dudgeon in position to use the best of vessels that might be qualified for use in offshore wind in the future.

'We look forward to being a part of the industry cluster in Great Yarmouth and expect to benefit from the existing industrial competence that has been gained through the involvement in the oil and gas business. Dudgeon will play an active role in the development and industrialisation of the offshore wind industry.'

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Eliza O'Toole, deputy chairman of Great Yarmouth Port, said: 'We are delighted to welcome Dudgeon Offshore Wind's team to our Port in recognition of the excellent capabilities of the port and the contribution it can make towards increased efficiency of operations for the Dudgeon project. As part of the wider port community, the port offers an experienced one stop shop for the offshore sector in the Southern North Sea and we are proud to have attracted Dudgeon Offshore Wind to our join our ever growing energy hub.'

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