Plans approved for largest offshore turbine base factory in the world

The proposals for South Korean steel manufacturer, SeAH Wind’s, giant £300m, 40-metre-tall offshore turbine base factory at Teesside’s Freeport have received planning approval.

Plans approved for SeAH Wind’s £300m Teesside offshore turbine base factory – the largest in the world

The giant facility – the largest of its kind in the world, at over 800 m in length – presents a range of design and construction challenges including its scale, low energy design and an accelerated programme.

It will offer 1.13million sq ft of high-quality factory space for the production of monopiles up to 120 m in length, 15.5 m in diameter and weighing 3,000tons which are used to support offshore wind turbines.

The scheme will see the creation of 1,500 supply chain and construction jobs when work begins in July, along with a further 750 roles when the site is fully operational.

Occupying a 90-acre site, this exciting development forms part of the UK’s fast-growing alternative energy sector, responding to the latest Government Energy Strategy.

The facility has been designed to accommodate the production of new extra-large monopiles and will become SeAH Wind’s first such resource outside South Korea. When fully operational, it is expected to produce between 100 and 150 monopiles per year which will be transported directly from the factory to Teesworks’ new South Bank Quay  facility before heading to the North Sea for installation using specialised pile driving equipment.

Comprising the new 93,324 sqm main monopile manufacturing building, a 3,873 sqm administration office, maintenance station, paint facility and site-specific power stations, the scheme will also include a range of staff welfare facilities. Ashton Smith Associates design responds directly to the challenges of creating a space with an optimal capacity for monopile construction, and the layout has been carefully developed to achieve a configuration which satisfies SeAH Wind’s operational requirements, ensuring each space is interconnected efficiently and safely, with all disciplines operating under one roof.

K2 Consultancy is the project manager, construction manager and cost consultant.  K2 has engaged a multi-disciplinary team including Ashton Smith Associates acting as architects, together with Clarkebond as civil, structural and geo-environmental engineers, and building services engineers, Waterman Group.

Nick Coke – Director of Project Management at K2 said “This is a tremendously exciting project for us building on our strong experience in the industrial manufacturing sector.  It gives us the opportunity to deliver a market-leading, world-class and pioneering facility that will kick-start much needed regeneration on Teesside.  This brings some fresh challenges as the project requires us to deliver for a Korean client new to the UK.  In order to fast-track the project and to allow SeAH to speed their product to market, we are leveraging our expertise in construction management, allowing work to start on site at the earliest opportunity.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This is a fantastic step forward for SeAH Wind’s game-changing scheme. The first job has been advertised, the plans have been approved and now spades can get in the ground in just a matter of weeks. 2022 is our year of construction there’s nothing holding back plans for this mammoth facility, helping drive forward the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of the future.

“Alongside these specialists, SeAH Wind has engaged with almost 200 local supply chain companies, detailing how they can get on board use our expertise and know-how to make its facility a reality. This will make sure it benefits our region in the short-term, while creating the well-paid, good-quality jobs of the future.”

The building services design focuses on energy efficiency in operation, whilst also offering a high level of environmental controllability to maximise material longevity and ensure the production of a premium quality end product.

Site works are scheduled to commence in July with overall completion anticipated in 2024.

Project team:

Client: SeAH Wind UK Ltd.

Client Representative: Hanmi Global

Project Management/Construction Management/Cost Management: K2 Consultancy

Architects: Ashton Smith Associates

Civil, Structural and Geo-Environmental Engineers: Clarkebond

M&E Engineers: Waterman Group

Planning Consultant: Lichfields

Delivery Partner: Ssang Yong


Project: Teesside offshore turbine factory – the largest in the world