The Permanent Secretary at the UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), Moira Wallace, has visited Belfast Harbour to learn more about its plans to develop a £40m terminal for DONG Energy, one of the world’s leading offshore wind developers.
Ms Wallace met with Executives from both the Harbour and Invest Northern Ireland to discuss the project which will help the UK reach its target of generating 30% of all electricity from renewable sources by 2020. As part of that process almost 11,000 wind turbines are expected to be constructed in UK waters over the next 20 years.Roy Adair, Belfast Harbour’s CEO, said:
“Belfast Harbour’s proposal to develop a dedicated offshore wind turbine facility has the potential to make Belfast a renewable energy hub of UK national significance. It is essential that the UK diversifies its energy mix in order to secure supplies, help reduce costs and create a low carbon economy.
“It is also our vision that the proposed new terminal will be the catalyst for a new Marine Energy Park which will attract a wide range of related green businesses and establish Belfast as one of the UK’s renewable energy hubs.”
Final go-ahead for the DONG Terminal project is expected in June with work on the 50-acre site due for completion by the end of 2012. The construction tender is scheduled for award in July and Planning Service has confirmed that development site works may proceed without an Environmental Impact Assessment. The project will create up to 300 permanent and 150 construction jobs.