March 11 2019 @ 14:24 by Richard Dawson
Energi Coast, North East England’s offshore wind cluster, has declared the region’s supply chain ‘fit and ready’ to support the growth of the industry following the announcement of the sector deal for the offshore wind industry.
The North East has been instrumental in the development of the offshore wind industry since its inception and developed a diverse cluster of innovative, technology-led suppliers.
Since creating the first offshore wind farm off the coast of Blyth in 2000, the North East supply chain has evolved through the development of innovative and efficient products and services, which have been applied to multiple UK and international wind farms.
As a result, the cluster has matured to be able to deliver every element for building an offshore wind farm, ranging from foundations, design, cables and cable laying. It also has extensive port facilities and is home to a number of companies providing operation & maintenance support offshore wind farms.
Founded in 2011 by energy sector business development experts NOF, Energi Coast champions the North East’s innovative and collaborative offshore renewables supply chain companies.
James Ritchie, chairman of Energi Coast and CEO of Tekmar Group plc, said: “The sector deal for the offshore wind industry is a significant step forward in creating a sustainable industry and providing real value creation to our local supply chain, which is fit and ready to serve our growing sector.”
“Offshore wind is a central part of the world’s clean energy future due to its renewed competitiveness and scalability. Delivering it requires an innovative supply chain to produce effective and efficient technology and services that supports the construction, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms, which is something the North East has done successfully.
“The sector deal will support the development of supply chain clusters, such as the maturing Energi Coast group of companies in the North East of England, which builds on a heritage from maritime and subsea oil and gas and have been at the forefront of this exciting renewable sector since its inception.
“This region has been instrumental in the establishment of the UK offshore wind industry and has led the way as a major contributor to local content with innovative subsea and offshore technology. We hope to increase our role to play as the industry evolves further on the back of this significant Sector Deal.”
George Rafferty, chief executive of NOF said: “The sector deal has the potential to attract considerable inward investment to the UK and in turn generate thousands of jobs in the supply chain.
“Innovative British companies, particularly those in the North East England cluster, have been integral to the helping the UK establish a world-renowned offshore wind industry and the sector deal will support further development in the supply chain. This will aid the use of more local content in both construction and operations & maintenance of UK offshore wind farms, but also in the export of skills, products and services to other parts of the world.”