The next round of Irish Sea Zone wind farm development could be worth £15bn to the Liverpool city region economy, according to a report by engineers Arup.
The report was commissioned by The Mersey Partnership, the inward investment agency, to promote the case for the supply chain of the region's existing port, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution assets.
Round three of the Irish Sea Zone wind farm development, in deepwater 70km offshore, could total 850 turbines and have the potential to create thousands of new jobs in the area. By comparison the existing Burbo Bank scheme off Crosby accommodates 25 turbines.
Arup identified existing assets in the city region, including Peel's Port of Liverpool, shipyard Cammell Laird, Stobart's 3MG in Widnes, and Port Wirral, the former Bridgewater Paper Mill, Ellesmere Port and Port Ince, all Peel assets.
Mark Basnett, TMP director of investment, said: "Liverpool city region has an immensely strong asset base on which to build an integrated supply chain for Irish Sea offshore wind development. One of our biggest strengths is that the key sites identified need limited adaptation to service offshore wind industry requirements. There are established businesses and companies in the private sector – many of them TMP members – that can provide a flexible, reliable and low carbon solution for the sector.''
He added: "Our primary task now is to market these assets to the players in this global industry. We aim to make a compelling business case for them to invest here in Liverpool City Region, creating new jobs and new opportunities, as they develop the shore-side hub that will support their huge undertakings offshore. Liverpool city region can become west coast UK's Aberdeen for the offshore wind industry."
Dennis Henderson of Peel Ports added: "We consider the low carbon economy will be an important contributor to our business and also our parent company Peel Group. We believe the region has many attributes to provide an offshore wind hub in terms of maritime location, proximity to Irish Sea wind farms, available sites, logistics and a history in manufacturing and engineering."
He added: "This combined with a willingness of business and the public sector in this region to work together can capture the potential .This is enabling us to promote a strong message to offshore developers and manufacturers involved in the supply chain."