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Subsea Industry Sets Standard for Offshore Wind Diversification

Subsea Industry Sets Standard for Offshore Wind Diversification

25 October 2012

One of the key strengths of the North East economy is its strong and integrated energy sector supply chain.

The economic benefits the sector brings to the region in terms of tax income and job creation and retention are hugely significant, particularly the oil and gas industry, which, there is no doubt, will remain at the heart of the energy sector for the next few decades.

Research undertaken among the NOF Energy membership reveals that, of the organisationís 420 members, the 230 members based in the North East generate a combined turnover of £2.5bn, the majority being from oil and gas operations.

However, while oil and gas remains the dominant energy industry in terms of supply chain operations in the North East, companies in the region have quickly identified the role that renewable energy will play in the future and are evolving their businesses accordingly. A balanced energy future, harnessing a mix of oil and gas, renewable and nuclear resources, is essential if we are to ensure security and longevity of supply.

To this end, the UK has to achieve a European Union-set legal directive of generating 15% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

Offshore renewables, in particular offshore wind, holds the biggest potential to help achieve that target and North East companies have identified the sector as one in which it can make a significant impact.

The regionís extensive oil and gas expertise and global reputation, alongside its ideal geographic location and infrastructure, provides the perfect foundations to establish an effective, integrated and collaborative supply chain for the offshore wind industry.

This is the message promoted to industry decision-makers by Energi Coast, North East Englandís renewables group, which was formed by NOF Energy and is led by a steering group that has made substantial strides towards delivering solutions for the offshore wind sector. The 24 companies that make up the steering group have invested in excess of £400m in their offshore wind operations to date with planned activity in the pipeline that will grow that figure considerably.

A number of the steering group members are from the regionís subsea industry, which is already a leader in the offshore renewables sector and clearly demonstrates the benefits of transferring its products, services and expertise from oil and gas into offshore renewables.

One of the jewels in the crown of the North East economy, the subsea sector is made up of about 50 companies that have a combined turnover in excess of £1bn and employ in the region of 10,000 people.