Energy Future

Siemens to invest millions in British wind plant

Jim Pickard

Siemens will invest £310m in a wind turbine assembly plant in Hull in a substantial boost to northern manufacturing and the coalition government's shaky record on green energy.

The German company expressed an interest in building the plant three years ago but its refusal to make a firm commitment prompted fears the project would never happen.

David Cameron will on Tuesday welcome the decision to go ahead by Siemens - and its partner Associated British Ports - as a "massive vote of confidence" in the government's economic plan.

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The investment will create up to 1,000 jobs as well as work in construction and the supply chain.

Ed Davey, the energy secretary, will say the Hull project "we will help to keep consumer bills down as we invest in home-grown green energy and reduce our reliance on imports".

Jason Hawkes | Iconica | Getty Images

The news comes after several years of rows about renewable energy between the Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat coalition partners. Conservative constituencies have become increasingly hostile to wind farms.

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In 2012, Siemens signed a letter calling for more clarity about the coalition's policies on renewable energy, warning conflicting messages could hit investment.

The Hull investment will be spread over two sites with an assembly line at Green Port Hull and a new rotor blade manufacturing base in nearby Paull. ABP is spending £150m, while Siemens will invest £160m.

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The chancellor last week promised to limit rises in energy bills for manufacturers by freezing the "carbon price floor" from 2016 until 2020. That prompted complaints by the nuclear and renewables industries that the move could hit investment in new energy infrastructure.