Dong Energy withdraws from Able's Immingham marine energy park

Able Marine Energy Park site Image copyright ABLE UK
Image caption The park was expected to create around 4,000 jobs and was due to be in operation by 2018

A major investor in a planned marine energy park at Immingham on the Humber estuary has withdrawn from the scheme.

Dong Energy had been expected to use the park as a hub for its offshore wind operations but said it no longer believed it was cost effective.

The company is currently developing one of the world's largest offshore wind farms off the east coast.

Able UK, the developer of the marine energy park, said it remained committed to the project.

Read more about this and other stories from across East Yorkshire and The Humber

The energy park, which is described as a bespoke port facility for the renewable energy sector, was granted planning approval in 2013 but legal challenges delayed construction.

It is expected to create around 4,000 jobs and is due to become operational from 2018.

Analysis by Sarah Corker, BBC Look North

Image caption Groundworks at the marine energy park site have already begun

I reported in May there were serious concerns about the future investment in the Able Energy Park by Dong Energy.

When I visited Able UK they were still pushing ahead with the ground work for this huge development stretching along the South Bank of the Humber.

Dong Energy was supposed to be the "anchor" company which would attract other suppliers.

Today's announcement casts serious doubts over the future of the Able Marine Energy Plant.

Dong had initially agreed to consider basing its onshore operations at the site but has now ruled out using it for any of its projects.

The decision to withdraw follows a review of East Coast Staging and Construction Facilities for the Offshore Wind Industry Council, the company said.

"It [the review] has concluded that current ports can support demand from the anticipated offshore wind project pipeline and it would be difficult to justify the scale of investment required to promote a single large-scale staging and manufacturing facility," it added.

Able UK said it was still examining the report and its implications for the site but still believed the park could play a "crucial" role in making the Humber a "world-class energy estuary".

Dong said it remained committed to the Humber region and was expecting to invest £6bn in the area by 2019.

The Danish firm, which is one of the UK's largest offshore wind operators, confirmed in February it would fund construction of the large offshore wind farm, Hornsea Project One.

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