October 28, 2019 @ 15:30 by Richard Dawson
Port of Blyth has announced that a brand new £1 million wind turbine training facility will be built at its Bates terminal — the first of its kind in the UK.
The project represents the latest development in the North East offshore energy sector, where it will address a skills gap that many anticipate could prove to be a significant barrier to future growth.
Through its training arm Port Training Services, the Port of Blyth was able to purchase, modify, and install a Vestas V47 wind turbine that will deliver realistic training in working at height, rope access, blade repair, and inspection techniques, as well as allowing for accurate rescue simulation.
The erected turbine is a duplicate replica unit, modified for easier and safer use with trainees, while the original turbine has been installed at ground level for more advanced technical training.
The pioneering facility received funding from the Coastal Communities Fund, a government scheme that aims to support the economic development of towns on the UK coast.
Port of Blyth’s chief executive, Martin Lawlor, said: “Seeing the turbine being hoisted into position is a great milestone for us.
“Port Training Services has been at the forefront of the port skills agenda for many years and this development represents a huge opportunity for them to widen their offering to a high growth sector in the coming years.
“We see a key role for ourselves in supporting the development of talent right through from schools engaging with our Blyth STEM Hub initiative to our training partnerships with local colleges and this facility is an exciting extension of that.
“The region and indeed the UK as a whole will benefit from this facility through the development of key skills relating to offshore energy and we’re very much looking forward to unveiling it to the industry.”