Subsea cable and umbilical supplier and servicer JDR Cable Systems (JDR) has reached final agreement under the UK government’s Offshore Wind Manufacturing Scheme (OWMIS) on financial support for its forthcoming subsea cable manufacturing facility in Cambois, near Blyth, Northumberland.

This grant agreement implies that JDR, a part of the TFK Group, is on track to commence construction of the facility in summer 2022.

The facility is planned to open in 2024.

The new £130m UK Export Finance (UKEF) Export Development Guarantee is expected to create 171 local jobs on completion while protecting 270 jobs at the current facilities of JDR.

UK Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Our offshore wind sector is a major industrial success story that delivers cheaper energy for consumers and high-quality manufacturing jobs across the UK. Investments such as this from JDR, with government backing, are exactly the kind which our British Energy Security Strategy will attract, while reducing our exposure to volatile global gas prices.”

This new facility is part of the company’s plans to expand its product portfolio to support the global renewable energy market, bolstering high voltage export and long length array cables to its current capacity and product capabilities.

JDR chief executive officer Tomasz Nowak said: “Since our initial announcement in September last year, the UK has redoubled its commitment to net zero having hosted COP 26 and reaffirmed the importance of building out the country’s renewable infrastructure and supply chain in light of the current gas and energy crises. Now more than ever it’s critical to push forward with the UK’s offshore energy ambitions and we are delighted to take this major step forward in delivering the new site at Blyth.”

UK Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone said: “JDR’s investment in Blyth shows how attractive the UK’s renewable energy sector is, supporting jobs, growing the economy and levelling up the UK. Through our ambitious Energy Security Strategy this government is helping reduce our reliance on oil and gas, and bringing more clean, green power to the nation.”

Northumberland chair of advance Jeff Watson said: “This is a fantastic milestone for JDR Cable Systems investment into Northumberland. The new state of the art subsea cable production facility will lead to the creation of over 170 new green jobs in the County, solidify our status as a leading investment location in the UK for renewable energy as well directly contribute to the Governments net zero agenda”

Meanwhile, JDR also announced a £3m investment into its current facility at Hartlepool. It has installed a new vertical layup machine (VLM), which is almost double the weight capacity and boosts production capacity at Hartlepool by around 25%, preparing the facility to produce array cables above its present 66 kV product range, with the addition of 132kV and 150kV cabling planned.

JDR chief strategy officer James Young said: “The energy transition will only accelerate, meaning more power from larger turbines, installed farther offshore and with higher voltage subsea cables to connect them. The North East of England is the ideal base from which to serve the largest offshore renewable energy market in Europe, and we’re delighted to be able to announce these major investments in both Blyth and our existing facility at Hartlepool.”

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Image: The facility is planned to open in 2024. Credit: JDR Cable Systems.