Offshore wind to make eastern towns “honeypots for investment”

East coast communities are destined to be “honeypots for investment” as decades of opportunity lie ahead in the rapidly-growing offshore wind industry.

The region’s “diverse and collaborative” supply chain is also perfectly placed to export its expertise overseas winning contracts in the burgeoning European industry, more than 200 industry representatives were told at an event to celebrate the industry at Lowestoft

The £22 billion being invested in offshore wind farm construction off the east coast, that will cost another £550 million a year to run, will help to reverse years of decline in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said.

This investment – and the supply chain companies setting up in and moving to the area – was giving local people hope for a better future, as well as providing an international exemplar to tackle climate change, he told an event to celebrate the industry in Lowestoft organised by the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR).

As well as a lengthy pipeline of UK contracts, the expertise of the “world-class” supply chain is prime to be exported overseas as the east of England leads the UK’s switch from a black to green economy.

The east coast has the potential to deliver 50% of the UK’s energy needs under the Energy Sector Deal that Energy Minister Claire Perry predicts will be signed by Christmas.

Martin Dronfield, chair of EEEGR Offshore Wind Special Interest Group (SIG) and offshore wind sector deal champion, told the Offshore Wind Week event at OrbisEnergy: “A new sustainable journey has begun. It is happening in this region. Decarbonisation by electrification, and the east of England is keeping the lights on.”

“Some huge sums of money” will be coming into the east of England that already employs 20,000 people in nearly 1500 businesses in the “diverse and collaborative” supply chain, he said.

“We are the closest region to some incredible offshore wind developments on the west side of Europe,” he said, forecasting huge export potential for eastern region companies.

“The links that the east of England has with the Netherlands, Belgium, France are already incredibly strong. There is a powerful opportunity to take our skills and learning. It is about collaboration and creating clusters. We are only 60-70 miles away.”

“We are constantly approached by people. Innovation is absolutely at the heart of what this region has to do to move this industry forward and getting costs down and efficiency relies hugely on technology.”

Waveney MP Peter Aldous warned developers that public support for the industry could be affected by local companies missing out on the work.

“At a time when the SNS is the focus of an enormous amount of activity or offshore wind that fact that yards are here and are not able to take advantage of this could well undermine the public support for the industry.

Referring to Lowestoft’s Sembmarine SLP, he added: “There is a need for developers to sit down with fabricators and, if necessary with the government. There is a yard here that currently doesn’t have any work. It looks very bad.”

The east of England’s “exemplar in the drive for climate change” could be rolled out across the world.

Mr Dronfield said a Sector Deal would offer huge opportunities for the east of England to export its skills.

“We are here, we are strong, we are full of incredible companies.”

Updates from developers included Vattenfall, which plans to build Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas. Danielle Lane, head of portfolio and transaction, encouraged businesses to get involved in its supply chain plan.

“We are interested in in-depth relationships with the people we are working with. We are looking forward to doing that on an enduring basis in East Anglia.”

Chris Leach, project execution director, East Anglia ONE, ScottishPower Renewables, revealed that contracts still to come on East Anglia ONE would be for crew transfer vessels (CTVs) operations and maintenance, servicing, offshore support and operations.

Thore Schreiber, head of business development and sales, Rhenus Offshore Logistics, said “astonishing” 30-40% cost reduction potential lay in shared cargo runs, with similar savings offered by shared CTVs and helicopter flights.

ENDS

 

Photo captions:

Credit: TMS Media

 

  1. Peter Aldous, Waveney MP, said the pipeline of offshore wind projects off the east coast would make coastal communities “honeypots of investment.”

Download high-res photo here

 

  1. The east coast offshore wind supply chain had a “powerful opportunity” to export its skills and learning overseas as global leaders, Martin Dronfield, chair of the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) Offshore Wind Special Interest Group said.

Download high-res photo here

Produced and distributed on behalf of EEEGR by TMS Media

Contact: Rachel Moore, TMS Media

T: 01493 662929

E: rachel@tms-media.co.uk

 

Siofra Driver, EEEGR – siofra.driver@eeegr.com 01493 412190

Gallery

wind_week-177 wind_week-2 OrbisEnergy Reception OrbisEnergy Reception Boardroom OrbisEnergy Meeting Room Conference Room Conference Room Breakout Area

The Team

Angela Grey

Angela Grey is the newest member of the team at OrbisEnergy and joined as Centre Coordinator in July 2017.  She brings over 20 years experience of sales and customer service.

Angela is new to offshore renewables and is eager to build a sound knowledge of the industry.

Devon Mills

Devon has joined the team at OrbisEnergy as an Administration Coordinator in November 2014 and more recently a Senior Coordinator in January 2016. Having previously worked within various customer service roles she is pleased to be able to apply her skills and knowledge to her position at OrbisEnergy.

She is keen to build a strong understanding within the Offshore Renewable industry, whilst being able to develop a good mind for business and sales.

Johnathan Reynolds

Johnathan is responsible for all aspects of business and supply chain development for the flagship innovation and incubation centre for offshore renewables in the east of England, OrbisEnergy.

  • loading tweets...