The offshore wind giant will build an operations and maintenance facility in Kings Wharf, Seacombe to serve its two offshore wind farms off the Irish Sea coast.
The 19,300 sq ft facility will consist of an office and warehouse building on a disused site. The existing Burbo Bank offshore wind farm and the new Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm, currently under construction, will be served by around 45 full-time staff from the base.
As part of the development, Dong Energy has committed to carry out work on the river promenade adjacent to the site which will improve the public amenity. This scheme has been developed through close cooperation with Wirral Council.
Dong plans to vacate and sell its existing facility in Canada Dock, Liverpool.
Brent Cheshire, Dong Energy’s UK chairman, said: “The [Wirral] site offers excellent offshore access and flexibility, which is exactly what we need to efficiently operate and maintain our wind farms. It is great to confirm this significant investment during the International Festival for Business as well. The festival is really highlighting all the positive activity currently happening in the North West.”
Cllr Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council, said: “This is another step towards establishing Wirral and the wider city region as a leading player in the renewable energy sector, and we look forward to further close partnership work with DONG Energy.
“The development will not only create jobs and bring new skills and expertise to the area in line with our Wirral Plan 2020 pledges; it regenerates a site in an important docklands location.”
Vessels are expected to be operated from the Seacombe Mersey Ferries terminal. Discussions are progressing with Merseytravel with a view to entering into a long-term agreement for shared use of the terminal to facilitate daily vessel access.
Frank Rogers, interim chief executive of Merseytravel, said: “We are continuing our positive conversations with DONG Energy over the potential to share facilities. We would welcome such arrangements as not only does it help reduce the cost of the Mersey Ferries to the public purse – one of the key aims of our 20 year Mersey Ferries strategy, it also supports a new employer for the region and the benefits that will bring.”
Enabling works for the site are currently underway and the main contractor is expected to commence construction later in the year with completion scheduled for mid-2017.
Burbo Bank has been operational since 2007 and has a total capacity of 90 megawatts. Burbo Bank Extension is currently under construction and is expected to be fully operational in 2017. It will have a capacity of 258 MW, generating enough electricity to power approximately 230,000 homes.