THE UK’s new energy minister, Lord Hunt, will address the country’s subsea industry at an event in the House of Commons tomorrow.
The gathering, organised by industry body Subsea UK and hosted by Aberdeen North Labour MP Frank Doran, provides an opportunity for the industry to speak to politicians on the issues and challenges facing the subsea sector and how they can help make sure the UK maintains its world-leading position in subsea.
The sector employs 40,000 people and contributes £4.5billion annually in revenues to the UK economy.
There will be presentations tomorrow from Alistair Birnie, Subsea UK’s chief executive; Mike Wagstaff, chief executive of Venture Production; John Sinclair, managing director of Subocean Group; and Jeremy Punnett, strategic development executive with Bibby Offshore. Mr Birnie said: “The subsea sector, one of the most successful and fastest-growing in the UK, continues to fare relatively well despite the current economic conditions.
“However investment is being significantly stifled, primarily as a result of short-term and ineffective government policy. This is not helped by recent behaviour among the banks.
“If we are to maintain our position around the world, safeguarding jobs and creating wealth, we need government to understand our sector and to help us overcome the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities to ensure we can take a strong and competitive sector to the next level, capable of leading the world in subsea capability for the long-term.
“Three leading companies in the subsea sector will present on ways in which they are dealing with the current conditions.
“As an industry, we are striving to come up with new ways of working to secure projects and capital and invest in people and technology.
“We now need government to demonstrate the same commitment to our industry over the long-term and hope that Lord Hunt will take away these messages and work with us to address them.”