NEWHAVEN PORT AUTHORITY COMMENT ON E.ON DECISION
October 9 2012.
Newhaven Harbour Master, Dave Collins-Williams, explains the next steps:
The Board of Directors of Newhaven Port & Properties (NPP) are delighted that, after a detailed evaluation process that has lasted more than 18 months, E.ON has selected Newhaven Port as the location for the Operations and Maintenance base for the proposed 700MW Rampion offshore wind farm.
The O&M base is expected to be in continuous use for the entire lifetime of the wind farm, which could be up to 50 years, and will create approximately 85 high quality, long-term jobs, most of which will be sourced locally, providing an important opportunity for local residents.
The O&M base will involve the replacement of an existing, old warehouse with a new, high quality administration and engineering building, together with a new Port Authority building, kick starting the regeneration of the Port. NPP hopes that this will act as the catalyst for other leading companies within the supply chain for the Rampion wind farm to also locate at the Port, creating further jobs and regeneration opportunities.
NPP has also started consultations with key stakeholders on a proposal to create a new heavy-duty quay at the Southern end of the Port, which could support construction of the Rampion wind farm, and transform the Port's ability to handle larger specialist supply and cargo vessels.
Attracting offshore wind companies to Newhaven was one of the key objectives of the Port Masterplan, which has been developed by the Board of Directors over the last three years in consultation with local stakeholders and Councils. The decision by E.ON validates those objectives, and demonstrates that Newhaven has a clear future as a commercial port.
The Directors would like to thank all those who have encouraged and supported the bid to host E.ON's O&M base.
Didier Marie, President of the Department de Seine Maritime, expressed his delight at the decision: "The decision is important for the local community and the Port, offering new opportunities in terms of jobs, training and commercial activities. The significant efforts we have been making over the last eight years in improving the harbour, in maritime safety, and investing in renovations, are finally paying off. We confirm our support for this project and our commitment to continuing the modernisation of the Port."
Francois Jean, Port Manager, said: "E.ON coming to Newhaven will create a cluster of opportunities in renewable and clean technology for local residents and companies. It demonstrates that NPP is working hard to deliver the Port Masterplan, which will transform Newhaven over the next few years."