NE supply chain can get stuck into more wind projects, Sir Ian says

The pioneering Hywind project off Peterhead was opened by Equinor and Masdar in 2017
The pioneering Hywind project off Peterhead was opened by Equinor and Masdar in 2017

The north-east’s supply chain is well placed to support major wind farm development projects off Scotland’s east coast, Sir Ian Wood said.

Sir Ian, chairman of economic development body Opportunity North East (One), said north-east companies were “early movers” in offshore wind, and gave special mention to Ecosse Subsea Systems, EnerMech, Proserv and Rovop.

And new port facilities in Aberdeen will complement the region’s extensive maritime capability and major offshore project experience.

The waters of Scotland’s north-east coast are home to the Hywind and European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre projects.

Major east coast offshore wind arrays in development include Seagreen Alpha and Bravo and Neart Na Gaoithe in the outer Firth of Forth and Inch Cape off Angus.

The opportunities presented by the move to a lower carbon economy will be highlighted to business leaders in Aberdeen this evening, when Chris Stark, chief executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change, addresses an SCDI dinner supported by One.

Sir Ian said: “The oil and gas industry has an important role to play in delivering energy transition to a lower carbon economy and is actively pursuing this agenda, from international oil companies right through the supply chain.

“Our company base in and around Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to develop a competitive position in this growing sector and offshore wind is a significant and near-term commercial opportunity because of the scale of new offshore arrays on the east coast of Scotland.

“The UK has installed more offshore wind capacity than any other country and in recent years much of that development has been in the Moray Firth and off Aberdeen.

“This experience is matched with a mature supply chain already diversified into the sector, unrivalled experience of major offshore projects, and investment in our ports, including the new £350m South Harbour.

“We have the marine and onshore capability and established supply chain to support the successful growth of offshore wind.

“Our oil, gas and energy supply chain is a key economic asset regionally and nationally, and helps to make us one of the most productive regions in the UK. Energy transition is vital to anchoring these businesses and their high-value employment long term. Developing our position in offshore wind is a clear, early opportunity for further diversification of our market focus.

“Investment in new UK offshore wind capacity in the next three years is estimated to total £18bn. That’s a huge opportunity for supply chain companies to bring innovative products and services to market to meet the growing demand, in the UK and internationally.”