Siemens to create up to 340 new green engineering jobs in the North West

Achim Kram

Last updated 6/7/2011 7:22:59 PM

Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd, based in Manchester, has announced that it will create up to 340 new jobs in its Projects business, focused on the design and build of transmission systems to connect countries' power networks to new energy sources, especially offshore wind.

The majority of these roles will be based at the brand new purpose built facility, currently under construction at Princess Park, Manchester. The new state-of-the-art building, which will be called The Renewable Energy Engineering Centre will house Siemens Global Centre of Competence for High Voltage Grid Connections (HVDC). The Centre will focus on design and build of HVDC transmission systems for the UK and North West Europe, in particular to meet the expanding needs of the Renewables market. This latest investment represents the ongoing commitment by Siemens to the UK and to North West England. The HVDC engineering centre will be the first of its kind outside Germany.

Due to the Government's commitment to carbon reduction targets, and the consequential need to invest in offshore wind generation, there is a buoyant market for HVDC systems to transport the power.  In addition to the need to connect wind farms more than 80km from the shore using DC, there is a large demand for more inter-country interconnectors and for sub-sea links to allow power movement around the UK coast, thus avoiding the requirement to build new overhead lines.

John Willcock, director of Major Projects for Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd explains: "The UK's Round 3 offshore wind farms will be sited much further out to sea than previous developments and so will need HVDC technology to overcome the power losses that occur when bringing electricity ashore over longer distances. Strengthening our UK expertise in HVDC is therefore central to Siemens' strategy and will help us maintain our leading market position in the UK."

The establishment of the new building is only one element of Siemens' overall plan, which will result in self-sufficiency in the UK for the engineering and project management of future systems including HVDC Plus converters.  Siemens has recently announced its role as the HVDC contractor for the recently energised BritNed project, the first-ever interconnector between the Netherlands and the UK. Other projects are also in the pipeline in the UK and Europe. 

The new high technology roles will be recruited from a number of areas, both new graduate and experienced hires to optimise the talent pool. Siemens will recruit intensively from the universities which are active in Electrical and Power engineering, both graduate and post-graduate, and from the existing workforce in the UK and Europe.  Siemens will also recruit engineers from other sectors which are either static or in decline, such as oil and gas, industrial automation and armed forces. 

The Centre of Competence is part of Siemens' strong R & D portfolio in the UK, which also includes Centres of Competence at Keele and Sheffield Universities for leading edge wind power converter technology and the new Rail Innovation Centre. These centres provide many interesting high technology roles in R & D and engineering.

Siemens' global headquarters are in Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.siemens.co.uk