Offshore wind supply chain ‘swipes right’ at industry match-making marathon

Opergy Ltd

East Anglia’s offshore wind supply chain took part in a hugely successful supply chain ‘speed dating’ event with more than 95 companies conducting over 185 individual meetings last month.

Organised by Lowestoft-based Opergy Ltd. working with energy sector body EEEGR, the event focussed on encouraging supply chain collaboration and creating an opportunity for suppliers to meet some of the sector’s major buyers including Vattenfall, GE Renewables, Innogy, SSE Renewables and many more.

Sarah Niddrie-Webb, Project Consultant at Opergy Ltd. who lead the event at the OrbisEnergy innovation hub, said “Encouraging supply chain collaboration presents a major opportunity for growth in the region. It allows smaller and innovative suppliers a real chance to meet with potential clients, showcasing their products and services to buyers whom they would often struggle to get in front of otherwise.”

Ben Hooker, Head of Sales at James Fisher and Sons plc. who took part in the session said “For me, the opportunity to come and meet new companies and view innovative products, is a great chance to engage with the supply chain. Otherwise you can end up in echo chambers believing that you know what’s available on the market. This gives a great opportunity to really engage.”

Ben Donald, Project Procurement Manager for Innogy Renewables UK said “This event brings together regional and local suppliers. As a procurement manager, it is important to meet suppliers on a regular basis, finding out about new products and services, projects they’ve been working on and how they could help us on our project locations.”

Similar offshore wind supply chain match making sessions have been held across five of the leading offshore wind clusters in Europe over recent months through the EU-funded Inn2POWER project (Innovation to Push Offshore Wind Energy Regions).

Inn2POWER is a consortium of leading offshore wind clusters across Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. The programme is driving supply chain collaboration and helping businesses to identify new international markets. Opergy leads the UK team.

In total, 12 events have been held across partner countries delivering more than 1,760 one-to-one meetings. Each event averages over 120 supply chain participants, with the most recent session part of the flagship WindEurope Offshore 2019 conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Future events in 2020 are already planned for the Belgium Offshore Days 2020 in March; EEEGR’s SNS2020 Conference, Norwich in April; and Windforce 2020 in Bremerhaven, Germany in May.

Sarah continued “The Inn2POWER project is truly a transnational collaboration that supports greater networks for better business. Opergy leads the consortium on mapping the European supply chain and well placed to help EU businesses wanting to explore the UK market, and East Anglian firms looking to grow and expand into Europe.”

East Anglian based Opergy is a new name on the region’s energy landscape, launched in October 2019 by industry experts Kim Duffy and Johnathan Reynolds, following an MBO of their previous consulting firm Nautilus.

Opergy delivers a range of strategy, finance, and innovation services to aspiring and growing businesses across the clean energy and technology sectors. Clients include RenewableUK, supporting the People and Skills delivery of the UK’s Offshore Wind Sector deal; the University of East Anglia, Cefas, and ORE Catapult in scoping a new multimillion-pound research programme focussed on the Southern North Sea; and supply chain clients including James Fisher Marine Services, Tecosim, Magellan, Channel Seaways, and more.

Beyond providing top quality professional services to business, Opergy is currently hosting a serving British Army Major on a Civilian Work Attachment and is in the process of signing the Armed Forces Covenant, promoting greater opportunities to support service leavers. Opergy’s Managing Director, Mr Reynolds, champions sustainable growth of the clean energy sector as board member of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the economic growth partnership for Norfolk and Suffolk, and member of the Norfolk and Suffolk All Energy Industry Council supporting the development of East Anglia’s dynamic energy cluster.