Industry leaders delivered a rallying cry for Scotland’s offshore wind supply chain during Scottish Renewables’ flagship conference yesterday.
During the opening day of the Offshore Wind Conference in Glasgow, businesses were encouraged to go after projects globally to build up their pedigree.
There is still a large amount of excitement within the supply chain about the result of the ScotWind leasing process.
Industry is readying for a huge pipeline of offshore wind work that could last for decades and help businesses to transition.
But with many hurdles still yet to clear, the wind farms that have been picked to be built in Scottish waters will not materialise until the end of the decade.
In the intervening period, companies have been encouraged to chase opportunities in some of the world’s other emerging offshore wind locations.
Stuart Thornton, business development manager at Seaway 7, part of the Subsea 7 group, said: “There is time to develop, please do not sit waiting. Look outside of Scotland to the rest of Europe, to the Far East and to the US – there is work going.
“As Tier One contractors we’re looking for suppliers with form, and if you’ve got a good portfolio of projects under your belt you’re going to be ten times more attractive than someone that has sat there waiting for Scottish projects.
“It is going to take time, but in that time please build your portfolios globally.”
Roy van Loveren, area manager UK and Ireland for Van Oord Offshore Wind, called for the supply chain to “act now” to secure opportunities.
“These developments need to be built within the next 10 years, but when will the first foundation for ScotWind be installed? 2027, 2028 maybe.
“Do not sit and wait, act now. The world is a lot bigger than Scotland. We are international Tier Ones and we love to participate in Scotland, but we’re not going to sit and wait for Scotland. There are many other developments, go for it.”
During the conference session on ‘making the most of the project pipeline’, UK head of renewables at Norwegian engineering company Aker Solutions, Jason Brown underlined the importance for the supply chain of creating a “legacy” from ScotWind.
He said: “We have a great opportunity to build something here for Scotland, for the UK and our neighbours in Europe as well.
“Through collaboration we will seize that opportunity. Be bold, be forward leading, and go and engage with people.”