"Show them what you can do” - Vattenfall introduces East Anglian businesses to major offshore wind companies

TMS Media

Businesses in East Anglia hoping for contracts on Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas offshore wind projects are today (Wednesday 20 November) sitting down with major companies to explore how they can work together.

The Swedish energy group stated it is bringing the largest companies in the supply chain - known as Tier One businesses - round the table with small and medium-sized businesses to ensure as many East Anglian companies as possible benefit from its planned multi-billion-pound projects off the Norfolk coast.

More than 50 companies have been invited to hear Vattenfall’s message: “Get talking, start working together” at the new £11.4m Energy Skills Centre, Lowestoft.

Rob Lilly, Vattenfall’s procurement and supply chain manager, said: “We want as many East of England companies to be involved in our projects, as are able to, so we are giving them thechance to tell Tier Ones and Twos about their capabilities and expertise, and to explore potential collaborations .”

East Anglian SMEs will be matched with Tier One and Two companies for open discussions at the supply chain event on Jobs and Industry Day of Offshore Wind Week.

Mr Lilly said bringing all parts of the supply chain together so early was unprecedented.

Lily stated: “We have been working with and meeting the supply chain for more than two years to find out what services are on offer, and to ensure everyone is aware of our open book procurement processand our intention that as much investment as possible from our projects remains in Norfolk and Suffolk,. No single part of the supply chain should be in any doubt of our expectations that there are winning outcomes for all, if Norfolk and Suffolk businessesare engaged in the development of our projects”

“Our purpose in bringing Tier Ones and Tier Twos and SMEs together is that they work out a way to work together for the benefit of our projects, the UK offshore wind industry and of course,the local economy and local people”

Turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa will be among the Tier One companies represented at the event.

Ray Thompson, head of business development at Siemens Gamesa, said; “We know from our previous experience of working around the UK how valuable these engagement events can be for smallercompanies wanting access to key suppliers and the project developers. It’s vital for the supply chain that they have the opportunity for early engagement, well ahead of the projects being delivered, in order for them to be successful.”

Gary Horner, sales manager for Global Wind Service, based at OrbisEnergy, Lowestoft, said: “This is a unique opportunity for greater collaboration between Tier 1, Tier 2 and East of EnglandSMEs with a view to working smarter, increasing cost efficiencies and developing local skill sets to construct and maintain these two multi-billion-pound offshore wind farm projects over their lifespan.”

The event is aligned with the aims of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, launched in March, which across the UK seeks to create tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs, invest £250m to develop the UK supply chain and attract billions of pounds of investment to the UK.

Mr Lilly said: “The Sector Deal is about creating opportunities for the people who will be part of the 27,000-strong offshore wind workforce and by running events like this will ensure the region and the UK are ready to benefit from investment opportunities.”

After today’s meeting, Vattenfall will feed back an action plan to maximise collaboration opportunities and ‘doing different’ in procurement to the government and other Tier Ones.

Last week, Vattenfall announced it had awarded Norfolk-based 3sun Group its contract for statutory inspections across its 50 wind farms in five countries, creating up to 30 new jobs.

The company hopes to win consent next month for its 1.8 GW
Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm, more than 47km from the Norfolk Coast adjacent to its proposed Norfolk Boreas, which also 1.8GW.