Strong Wind Blowing for Offshore Supply Chain (UK)

The outlook for Northern Europe’s offshore wind industry couldn’t be any stronger. With £60 million pledged from the Coalition Government, the UK is now not only the largest offshore wind market globally, but is also moving from strength to strength, growing in confidence, and here to stay.

Not to forget, it’s not just current UK based companies that are in line to benefit from the country’s support for offshore wind – manufacturers such as General Electric, Siemens and Gamesa and other suppliers from nations like Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, and Norway are already making moves to stake their claim. For companies looking to invest, the time to act is undoubtedly NOW!

However, to successfully deliver on the targets for offshore wind set by the EU, the developers, utilities and engineering companies who won licenses awarded by the Crown Estate to develop round 3 zones will have to install one new turbine every day until the end of 2016, and then 2.5 a day from 2017 through 2020 (whereas currently only one is being installed every 11 days). In order to allow this to happen it is the supply chain that needs attention.

The real challenge lies with the manufacturers as they can’t yet supply the equipment, parts and components in the quantities needed. Before manufacturers make big investments to boost capacity and achieve mass production they want firm orders. But this is in the context of developers putting off orders for turbines and other equipment because the cost of building an offshore wind farm is so high. It would therefore appear to be an unavoidable chicken or egg situation – or is it?

To deliver on their promises, the UK needs to overcome several significant challenges:

•Develop major port infrastructure to enable all sites to be accessed from UK shores

•Build more components and turbines out of key portside manufacturing facilities

•Ensure a continuing supply of quality materials to keep up with demand

•Improve cost management & reduce risk across the entire supply chain

Jon Harman from organisers Wind Energy Updated said “The conference has been created specifically to plug the gaps in supply chain knowledge, provide practical answers, and build the relationships needed to do business in this competitive arena.”

Harman continues “attendees will be better prepared to help their companies take advantage pan European opportunities, fend off growing competition, and bolster their market position. They will not only meet, but also do business with UK and European offshore wind developers, international OEMs, large scale component suppliers, manufacturing and logistics firms, technology innovators and other leading supply chain experts to tackle the challenges facing the offshore wind industry head on!”

Industry leaders already confirmed to attend include RWE Innogy, Vattenfall, Belwind, GE Wind, UK Trade & Investment, National Skills Academy, Heerema, Tata Steel, PD Ports, ABP, Peel Ports, JDR Cable Services, ABB and Siemens T&D among a host of others.

About Wind Energy Update

Over 2100 Wind industry executives have attended Wind Energy Update conferences globally in the last two years. Wind Energy Update conferences are industry leading and places invariably sell out quickly – reserve your ticket today to secure your leading position in the offshore wind energy supply chain.



Source: prweb, November 08, 2010;