PORT of Sunderland has declared itself “ready, willing and able to deliver” after a long-awaited Government announcement of investment in Dogger Bank.

Last week, The Northern Echo reported that the region was well-placed to cash in on the Government's decision to award 12 Contracts for Difference to renewable energy schemes including offshore windfarms, with high levels of expertise from development to maintenance and throughout the supply chain.

Officials at the Port of Sunderland, which is owned and operated by Sunderland City Council, and which stands just minutes from open sea, expect to see strong interest in its facilities and services.

They say the port, which offers deep water berths, 24-7 access and has development sites readily available, is perfectly positioned to provide support to Dogger Bank, which is only around 100 nautical miles away and will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm upon completion, with a total installed capacity of 3.6 GW, enough energy to power approximately 4.5 million homes.

Matthew Hunt, port director at Port of Sunderland, described last Friday's announcement as “game-changing” for the UK maritime sector and said he believes Sunderland is in prime position to see the benefits.

He said: “Dogger Bank has long represented a significant opportunity for Sunderland, so we have been putting all of the building blocks in place to ensure that we were absolutely ready to capitalise on it from the moment the Government pushed the button. That will pay dividends for us, now the race is on to support this game-changing development.

“Our location is a fantastic natural asset – we’re very close to the site and the ease of access at Port of Sunderland is unrivalled. But add to that the connectivity we boast, the high service level we offer to customers – which is well-known in industry – and the fact that we are agile enough to make decisions and deliver quickly due to having the same owner and operator, and we could not be in a better position to service Dogger Bank when work gets started on this site.”

Spanning a six-year development period– delivered in three phases and costing a total of £9 billion to produce– the opportunities Dogger Bank will create for the supply chain are expected to be transformative.

Port of Sunderland has invested heavily in improved storage facilities and logistic services over the past six years, with the offshore market a key focus of this investment.

Mr Hunt added: “We’re confident that today’s announcement will help stimulate further interest from the sector as we look to the future.”

For more information visit portofsunderland.org.uk or call 0191-5532100.