A supply chain event for companies looking to secure work on the pioneering European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) has been hailed as a ’huge boost to the North-East’ after the full allocation of places were filled by representatives from potential contractors.
In addition, Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company behind the scheme, has awarded the first local contracts to three firms, Donside Safety, TVP Studios and Archer Marketing.
The gathering of 250 delegates from around 200 companies, at Aberdeen’s Chester Hotel on Friday, September 9th, was supported by long-time partner Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) and Scottish Enterprise. It was organised to enable potential bidders for work on the 92.4MW, 11-turbine project to meet main contractors. Those in attendance were able to learn and discuss available work packages and local opportunities.
Tier one contractors J Murphy & Sons, MHI Vestas and Boskalis gave presentations and met with potential sub-contractors whilst AREG and Scottish Enterprise showcased how they can support businesses through the procurement process.
Adam Ezzamel, project director for the EOWDC at Vattenfall, said: “It’s good to get the first local contracts agreed for the EOWDC. They may be modest but they help secure employment in the area; I look forward to welcoming more local companies to the project in the coming months.
“We are committed to accelerating the development of wind energy and cost reduction through collaboration and are confident that the North East will play a valuable role in achieving these aims.”
Aberdeen City Council Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing and Aberdeenshire Councillor Rob Merson also spoke at the event.
Aberdeen City Council Leader Jenny Laing said: “We are keen to encourage local companies to secure work at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre so it was fantastic to see so many firms at the supply chain event.
“Aberdeen City Council has been active in renewables for more than 15 years and the rise of new renewable technologies offers huge opportunities both at home and overseas by adding to our existing oil and gas base, and contributing to energy industry diversification, international market entry and creating and safeguarding jobs.
“Aberdeen is now the largest employer in offshore wind in Scotland by some margin and it’s fantastic more local companies want to be a part of this energy market.”
Councillor Rob Merson, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Formartine Area Committee, said: “To have our local businesses involved in delivering a project that will demonstrate and test the latest in offshore wind technology is a huge boost to the North-east. Being able to diversify our economy and skills is crucial to the region and this represents a first class opportunity to be involved in a ground breaking project.”
Prioritising safety, the first contract was awarded to Blackdog-based Donside Safety who will supply all personal protective equipment (PPE) to Vattenfall workers on the EOWDC. The company employs 14 core staff.
Dale Rabey, director at Donside Safety, said: “We are proud to be working in close partnership with Vattenfall for the supply of PPE to ensure the contract for the wind turbines runs smoothly and safely. As a well-established company of over 25 years and specialist in the oil and gas industry we are delighted to now be servicing the wind and energy sector, where we can bring our expertise to the table to benefit other firms that seek professional safety wear.”
Archer Marketing, which is also based in Blackdog, employs five people and will produce newsletters and printed materials for the EOWDC.
Aberdeen-based TVP Studios has been selected to conduct photography, filming and animation work relating to the project. The firm employs five full-time members of staff.
Ricky Wood, company director at TVP, said: “It is a good opportunity for us to diversify away from oil and gas and into renewables. We have a lot of offshore technical filming and animation experience and working on the EOWDC has helped us to move into a new market.”
Onshore construction near Blackdog will start in October and is due to complete early in 2018. Works offshore will commence in Aberdeen Bay in late 2017. The project is scheduled to generate first power in summer 2018 and operate for 20 years or more.
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