News Release from RenewableUK


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Offshore wind industry shows UK supply chain companies how to win more contracts

A new guide published today by the Offshore Wind Industry Council highlights opportunities for UK companies to become part of the fast-growing global offshore wind supply chain, and for those already working in it to win further multi-million-pound orders.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

The document, “Collaborating for Growth - Playbook”, contains case studies of leading companies in the offshore wind sector working closely with supply chain companies throughout the country. The industry is committed to increasing the lifetime UK content of our projects from 48% currently to 60% by 2030, as set out in the Offshore Wind Sector Deal with Government.

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, a £100m industry-funded programme set up by OWIC as a result of the Sector Deal, is leading on work to expand the UK’s offshore wind supply chain, fostering innovation, boosting productivity and increasing competitiveness, by encouraging new entrants into the market as well as supporting the many UK companies already active in it. Today the OWGP has announced its latest round of funding to be awarded to supply chain companies totalling £1.5m in grants to encourage them to expand.

The Playbook contains examples of the wide range of supply chain companies winning contracts and the ways in which offshore wind developers are engaging with them at an early stage to ensure they are aware of the opportunities on offer. The best practice guide aims to support further growth by giving visibility to supply chain companies on how developers operate. It will be revised every two years to provide the latest examples on how companies can best position themselves to secure highly competitive contracts.

The guide notes that UK companies lead the world in designing, building and operating offshore wind farms, with more capacity installed than any other nation. UK manufacturing companies provide key components such as turbine blades, foundations and cables. Support services provided for example by financial and legal firms offer further opportunities. The UK’s global lead in offshore wind means it is uniquely placed to sell innovative products and services overseas. The Sector Deal commits the industry to achieving a five-fold growth in exports to £2.6bn a year by 2030.

Examples of best practices in the guide include offshore wind developers working closely with suppliers on the development of new products and services, engaging with suppliers at much earlier stages of the development process and making them aware of their exact requirements on timings and technical specifications.

To achieve this, the Playbook contains numerous examples of supply chain events held around the country, often supported by local enterprise partnerships, where leading offshore wind developers have engaged with local suppliers. This has already led to thousands of contracts being awarded to new companies set up to seize the fresh opportunities offered by offshore wind, as well as existing UK firms which have diversified successfully into the clean energy sector. The guide also identifies examples of online portals which link local supply chain firms with offshore wind construction projects, to provide them with a comprehensive and regularly updated breakdown of what they require.   

The document also highlights developers working with supply chain companies on innovative technology for the next generation of much larger projects including even more powerful turbines. Other key initiatives already underway include collaborative work on upgrading ports in places such as Teesside so that they can cope with the rapid upscaling of offshore wind technology, as well as work with cable companies to ensure the UK has the best grid infrastructure in place to maximise the enormous quantities of power generated.

The Industry Chair of OWIC Benj Sykes said “As this guide demonstrates, the offshore wind industry is fully committed to building on the progress we have already made in engaging closely with supply chain companies at every level throughout the country, to give them the best possible visibility of our project timelines and our many high-tech requirements.

“Encouraging the most innovative UK companies to work with us, increasing competition and boosting productivity, will help us to continue to drive down costs for consumers in a new era as offshore wind becomes the backbone of our electricity system, delivering plentiful, cheap, clean power - and this will play a major part in the UK’s green economic recovery.

“Fostering strong collaborative partnerships at an early stage of the development of each project is the key to maximising the economic and industrial benefits of offshore wind for the UK. The OWIC Playbook shows how this is being done and how it will accelerate over the course of this decade and beyond, to help the Government to reach its net zero goal”.    

The Playbook is being published at RenewableUK’s 3-day Global Offshore Wind 2020 conference and exhibition – the industry’s biggest event of the year, with over 100 global exhibitors and more than 400 speakers joining from around the world.

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RenewableUK, guide, offshore, Offshore Wind Industry Council, supply chain, UK, Playbook, Global Offshore Wind 2020 conference and exhibition

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