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July – September 2023 Investment News Roundup

1:57 pm, Wednesday, 4th October 2023 - 10 months ago

In anticipation of a series of Net Zero projects set to commence in the Humber region from as early as 2024, alongside continued investment into the region across multiple sectors, the last three months has seen a large amount of investment put into complementing the regions already strong training and skills provision for business and industry.

Headlines was made elsewhere over the last three months in the regions strongest sectors, including; investment in seafood projects, offshore renewables announcements and celebrating a milestone of one of the area’s largest businesses.

New £60M National Net Zero Training Centre Expansion

In September CATCH announced ambitious plans for the development of a £60M state-of-the-art training facility, to reach a training goal of 1000 apprentices a year by 2029, at its Stallingborough headquarters, with the intent of tackling the engineering construction skill shortages anticipated in the Humber cluster and across the UK.

Subject to further partner engagement and planning permission, the new facility is planned to house a national net zero conference and learning centre, bespoke classrooms and workshops for electrical, instrumentation, mechanical technical skills, a welding and fabrication hub with an impressive 160 welding bays, and a UK first of kind outdoor Process Unit Training Module to enable a real process site experience in a safe environment for all trade skills. In addition, provisions cater for enhanced car parking facilities and a dedicated CATCH regional bus infrastructure to help get talented apprentices to the site from across the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire regions.

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New £5.5m Training Centre Opens in Stallingborough

The careers of 60 young learners will be launched by the opening of a new £5.5m training centre in Stallingborough.

Humberside Engineering and Training Association (HETA) has launched the new facility at Pioneer Business Park that has facilities for electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and fabrication and welding, as well as an IT suite, classrooms and meeting rooms. It is one of three sites operated by HETA where 250 learners are embarked on courses.

“It’s a £5.5m investment in the future of engineering training in North East Lincolnshire and beyond. It’s for those people who are coming out of school and want to take engineering as a career and for employers who need that skilled labour coming through. We know young people are now seeing apprenticeships and engineering and other technical trades as a viable alternative to university.”

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Projekt Renewable touches down in Grimsby

As reported on Business Live, Projekt Renewable has arrived in Grimsby, with three modified shipping containers providing “a shed-load of opportunity” for the town. The aspirational scheme, set to celebrate opportunities presented by green energy on the area’s doorstep.

Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, Cllr Philip Jackson, said: “To see this structure landing in a popular public space in Grimsby town centre is fantastic. The renewables sector and its growth in North East Lincolnshire offers us so much and it is vital that young people, and their families, are provided an opportunity to see what is on offer. We can all be inspired by it.”

Seventy Years of Manufacturing Titanium Dioxide

In September, seventy years of Titanium Dioxide manufacturing was celebrated by local company Tronox. The huge plant’s first batch left the sprawling South Humber Bank site in 1953, under the National Titanium Pigments name. Since then it has staggeringly scaled up annual production capability from 5,000 to 165,000 tonnes, providing the brilliant white powder that can colour almost any material – adding opacity, brightness and protection to countless everyday items.

Speaking with Business Live, the company outlined their vision for a greener future. “It has been here 70 years, delivering brilliance in the region, and we are working hard to make sure we are here for the next 70 years.”

£5 Million Netted to Back Major Grimsby Seafood Projects Creating Hundreds of Jobs

More than £5 million of funding has been netted by Grimsby’s seafood industry, with hundreds of jobs to be created.

The UK Seafood Infrastructure Fund is backing three major projects in the town, eight months after the first tranche of cash landed, with more than £7.4 million brought to the cluster.

The biggest award goes to New England Seafood International as it doubles its footprint on Grimsby’s Europarc. The £3.8 million grant will cover refurbishment, processing equipment and installation of a refrigeration plant. A total of 263 new jobs are eyed as it seeks to grow output by 162 per cent over the next four years, with more than 200 currently employed.

North East Lincolnshire’s roots in the seafood industry are steeped in tradition. On the latest Business Register and Employment Survey from ONS, the area is shown as having a food manufacturing workforce that is 7x the Great Britain average (as a percentage of all employees) and that equates to 22% Great Britain’s total seafood processing workforce.

Government Takes Carbon Capture and Storage Forward on the Humber With Viking Cluster Selection

Carbon capture and storage on the Humber has moved a major step forward with the award of Track Two status for the Viking project.

Harbour Energy’s proposal has the potential to clean up one of the most emission-intensive industrial clusters in Europe, tackling pollution from Immingham’s refining and power giants, while providing a shipping import location for others.

It is aiming to handle 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, adding a further 50 per cent by 2035, transporting it via a new pipeline to Theddlethorpe then out to the existing depleted gas fields it takes the name of. Viking, as well as the company’s sister Acorn project in North East Scotland, was described as “best placed to deliver government objectives” due to their maturity, in the latest sequencing announcement.

Offshore Construction Underway for RWE’s £3B Sofia Wind Farm

Offshore construction is underway on the North Sea’s next wind farm. The project will feature the ‘most advanced offshore wind turbine technology available’.

When completed in 2026, the 100 Siemens Gamesa 14MW turbines will be operated and maintained from Grimsby’s Royal Dock, where a major extension of an initial base has recently begun. It will see a hub created for several farms operated by the German energy giant.

Sven Utermöhlen, chief executive of RWE Offshore Wind, said: “Sofia is RWE’s largest renewable construction project to date, and its furthest from shore. The project is setting new standards in terms of addressing innovation, sustainability, and engineering challenges. The laying of the first section of export cable represents the culmination of 13 years of planning, preparation, and diligence, as well as a huge amount of support from suppliers and stakeholders alike.”

Hornsea Four Offshore Wind Farm Given the Go-Ahead by Government

The fourth and final wind farm in the Hornsea Zone has been consented.

Orsted’s Hornsea Four, to be operated and maintained from Grimsby, has been cleared by Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

On delivery, the 2.6GW addition will bring scores more jobs to Grimsby, as a key project to be served from its £14 million East Coast Hub, where the company envisages employing more than 800 people from by 2030. Construction is also likely to again be co-ordinated from a Humberside Airport base.

When complete Hornsea Four will compliment Hornsea One, Two and Three, generating enough combined energy to power millions of homes.

Image: Orsted – Our offshore wind farms