February 27 - A UK government minister has visited the GBP450 million (USD692.7 million) Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) development on the south bank of the Humber to witness the progress that has been made.

Penny Mordaunt, the under secretary of state at the department of communities and local government, attended the AMEP site, where enabling works have been underway since the communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles visited last year and confirmed a GBP15 million (USD23 million) grant for the project.

Mordaunt was told of the scale of the preparation work at the AMEP site, which covers over 900 acres (364 ha) and will provide 1,289 m of new heavy-duty deepwater quays designed specifically for the marine renewable energy sector.

Commenting on the development, Mordaunt said: "The Able Marine Energy Park will deliver a massive boost to the local economy, attracting top-class businesses and creating thousands of jobs for hard-working people. It's why we invested GBP15 million (USD23 million) to get this development off the ground and I'm extremely pleased to see the impact that funding has had." 

Able UK executive chairman Peter Stephenson added: "The awarding of the grant for the infrastructure programme was a huge vote of confidence in our ambitions to provide at AMEP the full range of facilities needed by the renewable energy industries, not only creating over 4,000 direct jobs but acting as a catalyst for establishing the Humber as the 'Energy Estuary' of the UK."

Work so far has included importing over 1 million tonnes of stone and laying 590,000 sq m of specially designed membrane. Work on the site preparation will continue over the coming months, with construction of the quays expected to get underway by summer of 2016.