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Able gets energy park go-ahead

October 27 - Despite petitions made by Associated British Ports (ABP) against the development, a Joint Parliamentary Committee has cleared the way for the multi-million pound Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) on the south bank of the Humber.

HLPFI reported on March 4, 2014 that ABP had made moves to use a Special Parliamentary Procedure (SPP) to block the 900-acre development.

ABP said then that it had been working with Able to identify ways it could develop its own Immingham Western Deepwater Jetty (IWDJ) project - a new quay - alongside the AMEP without damaging the job creation opportunities and other benefits that each could bring to the region. 

The joint committee of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which was set up to consider petitions against the project lodged by ABP, has now expressed its support for the decision, made by the Secretary of State for Transport last December, to grant a Development Consent Order for the AMEP.

Able UK executive chairman, Peter Stephenson, described the decision as "brilliant news for our company, the region, the UK - and the job opportunities that it will create". 

The development will provide almost 1,300 m of new heavy-duty deep water quays, designed specifically for the marine renewables sector and for providing a multi-user facility for the manufacture, storage, assembly and deployment of next generation offshore wind turbines and their associated supply chains.

"After a lengthy, detailed and costly planning process, we gained approval from the Planning Inspectorate and then received the backing of the government, which made it very disappointing and frustrating that ABP chose to continue its efforts to block a development, which really does offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the economy of the region, provide the catalyst to make the Humber a world-class 'energy estuary' and put the UK at the forefront of the renewable energy industries," said Stephenson.

Stephenson added that if ABP had succeeded in its efforts to reduce the size of the quays planned for the AMEP, it would have made the development no longer economically viable and Able would have had no option but to abandon it.

"I am sure that everyone who wants to see the Humber succeed will hope that ABP will now step back from any further attempts to delay and instead act in the interests of the area as a whole," warned Stephenson.

Preparatory work has begun on the site of the AMEP, which has been supported by the GBP15 million (USD24.1 million) grant announced by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, in August of this year.

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