UK Offshore Wind Supply Chain Conference
Regen SW and partners from Offshore Wind England hosted an event at the Birmingham NEC yesterday as part of The Crown Estates third round of national supply chain events. It was an excellent day that was attended by over 300 delegates and exhibitors from across the UK. The main theme of the event was asking how we can achieve the target of 50% UK content in the offshore wind supply chain - an important issue where UK companies have alot to offer this new and exciting industry.
Throughout the day there was an exhibition area with over 25 companies from across the UK showcasing their capabilities, raising their profiles and doing business. In the main seminar auditorium and in breakout rooms there were a series of presentations, question & answer sessions and workshops.
The first seminar session was a general overview of the plans for offshore wind in the UK and idenifying where there are opportunities for supply chain companies. This included presentations from:
- Huub den Rooijen - Head of offshore wind, The Crown Estate
- Johnny Gowdy - Director of offshore renewables, Regen SW
- Jonathan Reynolds - Development director, Orbis energy
- Charles Hendry MP - Minister of state for energy and climate change
There were also important policy updates from Heidi Bridger - Dept for Business Innovation and Skills and Richard Hall - Dept of Energy and Climate Change.
Following this, the second seminar session was an opportunity for turbine manufacturers and teir one contractors to give their perspective on how we can get 50% UK content in the supply chain. This included presentations from:
- Clarke MacFarlane - Managing director offshore wind power, Siemens
- Andrew Fox - UK Business relationships manager, AREVA
- John Hill - Head of public affairs, GEPower conversion
The message from all of these speakers was consistent - offshore wind is a huge opportunity and UK companies have the talent, innovation and professionalism to be competitive in the supply chain. So if you havent already, start a dialouge so that you can better understand each other business needs and how you can be working together.
In the afternoon there were two rounds of workshop sessions. The first round had breakout groups discussing Innovation for growth, workforce and skills and a update from project developers including Eneco, RWE npower renewables, E.ON Climate and Renewables, SMart Wind and DONG Energy. The final workshop sessions discussed the themes of procurement opportunities and collaborating for success with presentations from a number of speakers.
The main messages to come from this event were that:
- Offshore wind is a big opportunity for UK companies. If you can prove that you are price competitive, innovative and have high levels of professionalism and HSE awareness then there are opportunities for you in the supply chain.
- The supply chain opportunities in offshore wind developments are broad and diverse - there are opportunities for companies who may not of thought they had something to offer to the industry.
- Project developers, turbine manufacturers and tier one and two contractors are approachable and want to hear from you, if your company has something to offer get in touch and start the relationship.
Copies of the presentations are available online now. If you have any questions about this event, opportunities in offshore wind or future events please get in touch.