A unique combination of skills and experience, infrastructure and a mature supply chain mean that North East Scotland is competitively positioned to support the development of major offshore wind developments on the east coast of Scotland, according to Sir Ian Wood KT GBE, chair of the region’s private sector led economic development body Opportunity North East (ONE).
Significant offshore wind assets have already been developed in the region, including Vattenfall’s £300m European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) and Equinor’s Hywind, the world’s leading floating offshore wind solution. Infrastructure investments, including the £350m South Harbour in Aberdeen, mean that the region’s extensive maritime capability and major offshore project experience is now supported with new port facilities. North East based companies were early movers in offshore wind, including Ecosse Subsea Systems, EnerMech, Proserv and ROVOP.
Major east coast offshore wind arrays in development include Seagreen Phase One 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 North East Scotland this evening, when Chris Stark, chief executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change and former director of energy and climate change at the Scottish Government, addresses an SCDI dinner supported by the ONE Oil, Gas & Energy sector board.
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,” said Sir Ian.