Offshore Wind in Spotlight at 13th EEEGR Awards

East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) held its 13th annual awards on 14 September, recognising achievements and developments that have highlighted the energy sector over the last 12 months.

The ‘Made in Lowestoft’ Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Offshore Substation designed and manufactured by Sembmarine SLP in its Hamilton Road yard won the EEEGR Best Energy Project Award, sponsored by EDF Energy. The substation used suction bucket technology for the first time on an offshore wind farm substation in UK waters. It was delivered on time with a 100 per cent safety record. Sembmarine SLP also donated more than £22,000 to local charities from the project through its Safety Observation Scheme (SOS).

Lowestoft-based Windcat Workboats won the EEEGR Cost Reduction and Collaboration award, sponsored by Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, for its Windgrip, which fixes crew transfer vessels to turbines to make safer transfers. Windcat has fitted Windgrip to 15 of 40 vessels that take technicians out to wind farms for clients including Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, and others operated by Vattenfall, Dong and E.ON and have now successfully and safely completed more than 1.5m transfers.

A subsea laser (LIDAR) for measurement and 3-D modeling of underwater assets, resources and marine environments was winner of the EEEGR Innovation Award, sponsored by James Fisher Marine. 3-D at Depth has developed a laser light to “bend” underwater, which it presented to the market last year to enhance the value of survey data and cut survey costs.

Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft College’s Energy Skills Foundation Programme (ESFP), won the EEEGR Best Skills Initiative for the unique course designed with the help of industry and has given hundreds of young people qualifications and employability skills as well as knowledge of the industry they hope to find apprenticeships in by site visits across the energy industry. Alan Wagner, of Lowestoft College, said about 90 per cent of the students were working in the industry and 50 per cent of the students went straight into jobs in the industry from the course.

Pharos Marine Sims systems was given a Judges’ Commendation for its apprenticeship programme, which helps grow its business by training its own staff for its specialist navigation aids systems. Nineteen of its 34 staff started on apprenticeships, including service manager David Mann, who started on an apprenticeship 12 years and completed his HNC and HND qualifications.

EEEGR’s Member of the Year was awarded to industrial equipment supplier Gee-Force.

Finally, John Best, who founded and developed the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) was presented with the EEEGR Lifetime Achievement Award for his work throughout more than a decade as chief executive of EEEGR and continuing support since he stepped down four years ago. Best was EEEGR chief executive for 11 years, leaving the organisation with more than 300 members and a respected reputation before he left to work for James Fisher Marine four years ago.

Vattenfall sponsored a drinks reception before the Gala Dinner, when project director Andy Paine gave an update of Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind farm project.

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