Siemens Transmission & Distribution has announced it will create up to 340 new jobs in its projects business, with a majority based at its new centre at Princess Park in Manchester.
Siemens Transmission & Distribution, based in Manchester, said the creation of new roles is focused on the design and build of transmission systems to connect countries' power networks to new energy sources, especially offshore wind.
The new building, currently under construction, will be called the Renewable Energy Engineering Centre and will house Siemens global centre of competence for High Voltage Grid Connections.
Siemens has retained Jones Lang LaSalle to help attract a development partner for further phases of the site's expansion. A bid for gap funding from the European Investment Bank's Jessica programme is currently being drawn up as part of masterplanning work in conjunction with Manchester City Council's planning department. One option being considered is to develop other uses such as hotel or retail and leisure on surplus, non-core land.
Siemens said the new high technology jobs will be filled from a number of areas, including new graduate and experienced hires. Siemens said it will recruit from universities which are active in electrical and power engineering, at both graduate and post-graduate level, and from the existing workforce in the UK and Europe.
Siemens added it will also recruit engineers from other sectors which are either static or in decline, such as oil and gas, industrial automation and armed forces.
The German-based firm said the centre in Manchester will meet the expanding needs of the renewables market and be the first of its kind outside Germany.
The company added that due to the Government's commitment to carbon reduction targets, and the consequential need to invest in offshore wind generation, there is a buoyant market for High Voltage Direct Current systems to transport the power.
John Willcock, director of major projects for Siemens Transmission & Distribution, said: "The UK's round 3 offshore wind farms will be sited much further out to sea than previous developments and so will need HVDC technology to overcome the power losses that occur when bringing electricity ashore over longer distances. Strengthening our UK expertise in HVDC is therefore central to Siemens' strategy and will help us maintain our leading market position in the UK."
Siemens said the establishment of the Princess Park building is only one element of its overall plan, which will result in self-sufficiency in the UK for the engineering and project management of future systems including High Voltage Direct Current Plus converters.