Siemens Gamesa expands Hull wind turbine blade manufacturing facility
In a major boost for renewable energy production as the UK gears-up to meet net zero targets, Siemens Gamesa’s wind turbine blade manufacturing facility in Hull is being doubled in size through the addition of two new buildings, enabling the production of larger, more efficient blades.
Covering 42,000 sqm, the new £82m units will accommodate the manufacture of next-generation offshore wind turbine blades, which will see this become the largest facility of its kind in the UK. Providing a welcome employment boost for the region, the expansion will also add 200 new jobs to the 1,000-strong workforce already employed at the site.
Having delivered structural and environmental consultancy services for the existing 36,000 sqm facility, completed in 2016, Waterman’s team once again teamed-up with contractor, VolkerFitzpatrick, to provide civil, structural, M&E, environmental and health and safety consultancy services for the new buildings.
Working closely with architects, Race Cottam Associates, our specialists delivered the structural design for the scheme. Ensuring the steelwork incorporated 40m clear spans with a working height of 18m and substantial load-bearing capability, the design was carefully considered to accommodate the gantry and console cranes utilised during the wind turbine blade manufacturing process.
Controlling internal environmental conditions is critical to allow Siemens Gamesa to produce turbine blades with a high degree of accuracy and consistency, and our mechanical and electrical team designed services for lighting, power, water, humidity control, ventilation and cooling for the new facility, in addition to upgrades and replacements of the mechanical services for the existing facility. With sustainability a key theme of the development, our designs focused on minimising waste whilst prioritising both energy and carbon efficiency.
In a recent statement, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said: “The Humber region embodies the UK’s green industrial revolution, with new investment into developing the next generation of wind turbines set to create new jobs, export opportunities and clean power across the country…..we need to see more countries embracing new technologies, building green industries and phasing out coal power for a sustainable future.”
Waterman’s Building Services Director, Steven Halmshaw, said: “I’m delighted that we have continued our relationship with Siemens Gamesa and VolkerFitzpatrick to contribute to the design of the new wind turbine manufacturing buildings. With a backdrop of rising demand for sustainably produced energy, coupled with increasing efficiency in capture and storage methods, the increased capacity of this specialist manufacturing facility will ultimately help secure a climate-resilient future for the UK, whilst bringing vital employment opportunities to the region.”
Construction work began in August, with completion scheduled for May 2023.