NOF, the business development experts for the energy sector, welcomed an international delegation to North East England to demonstrate the industrial and economic benefits of the region’s established offshore wind cluster.
The visit of nearly 50 government officials, industry leaders and global stakeholders from 21 countries, was organised in partnership with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the World Bank Group.
The visit was part of GWEC and the WBG’s collaboration to support the development of offshore wind in emerging markets, which includes fact-finding missions.
The delegates from countries including Argentina, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam, will tour North East England, visited Energi Coast companies that are well-established offshore wind suppliers and have been instrumental in creating a world-class offshore wind hub in the region.
North East England has been at the forefront of the offshore wind industry since its inception and is recognised as a key strategic location to service the European and Global market.
In addition to being home to the UK’s first offshore wind farm, off the coast of Blyth, Northumberland, it has developed an extremely innovative and successful integrated supply chain, which is technologically driven and experienced in delivering large scale projects across the sector, supporting several thousand jobs in the region.
Represented by the region’s offshore wind cluster, Energi Coast, the supply chain has matured to be able to deliver the majority of what is required for an offshore wind farm, both at design, construction and O&M phase. This expertise ranges from foundations, cables, installation, training and specialist subsea services. It also has extensive port facilities and enviable infrastructure attracting interest from key players around the world keen to set up business in the UK.
During the visit the delegation visited key locations and companies including the Port of Blyth where they will tour facilities operated by DeepOcean, Global Marine, Royal IHC and Port Training Services.
They were also shown the innovation taking place at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, which is located at the port, which is developing next generation technologies for the sector in partnership with supply chain companies.
In the south of the region the delegation visited JDR, Offshore Structures Britain, RelyOnNutec and Van Oord / MPI Offshore as well as attending Hartlepool College where they heard presentations from PD Ports and the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
Joanne Leng MBE, Deputy Chief Executive of NOF and Deputy Chair of Energi Coast, said: “The North East of England is an exemplar of a region that has developed a mature cluster of offshore wind activity, led by technology-focused companies. Emerging markets can look to this region and see how its industry has evolved to meet the requirements of offshore renewables while delivering economic and value-added benefits to the area.
“We are very proud to welcome the GWEC delegation to North East England to showcase what the cluster has achieved, which will hopefully support the delivery of offshore wind programmes and supply chain development in emerging markets around the world.”
Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC said: “We are pleased to be bringing this high-level delegation to North East England so they can experience first-hand the benefits that a thriving offshore wind industry can bring in terms of supply chain investment, jobs and of course clean, cheap energy.
“We hope that these delegates will bring the knowledge they acquired from this study tour back to their home countries to start building up new offshore wind markets across the world and contribute to lowering carbon emissions. This is just the first stop on our journey to take offshore wind global through our cooperation with the World Bank Group.”