October 1, 2020 @ 11:30 by Steven Hugill
The North East is primed for an employment and economic boom after a marine operator became the latest regional firm to back the world’s largest offshore wind farm development, an industry boss has claimed.
Steel River Consultants’ Graham Tyerman says he hopes to see “sectors thrive again” following news that Hartlepool-based Able UK is supporting the construction of the Dogger Bank wind farm, in the North Sea.
The company’s Seaton Port will act as a marshalling base for service equipment, installation and commissioning activities during the first two phases of the Dogger Bank project, which officials say will create 120 jobs.
They say a further 120 roles will be based offshore and at a previously-revealed operations and maintenance unit at the Port of Tyne.
Led by Equinor and SSE Renewables, Dogger Bank will be built in three phases, with bosses saying it will provide power for more than 4.5 million UK homes when at full capacity.
“The North East hub is in a brilliant position to support the round three projects of the Dogger Bank and Sofia (which is based at Dogger Bank) developments,” said Graham, who is managing director at Stockton-headquartered Steel River Consultants.
“The Port of Tyne has been selected as a base for some of the big projects, while the cabling routes and sub-station work will come into Redcar.
“There will be an influx of construction and engineering work and I hope to see some of the service sectors thrive again to support the infrastructure needed for the contractors who will need to come to our region to work on projects over the next decade at least.”
Steel River Consultants was founded in 2010 and operates as an independent safety management company.
It reported £1.2 million turnover in 2019, with bosses revealing it is on track to surpass a £1.75 million target this year.
Thanks to global contracts, it has also expanded its workforce and is looking at potential growth into London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Ireland within the next 12 months.
It has overseen more than 700 projects in countries such as Italy, China, Norway, Denmark and the USA, working with clients across sectors such as renewables and petrochemicals, social housing and insurance.
Graham added: “When I set up this company, I could see projects with 20 and 30 years’ longevity.
“While this current COVID-19 situation has had an impact on some things, such as how we work in the office environment, the long-term projects on renewable energy solutions have not stopped.
“It is large-scale operations such as Dogger Bank, Scots Wind and the magnificent Teesworks – based on the former Redcar SSI UK steelworks site – which should ensure there is a bright future on the jobs front in this region.”