A number of ambitious Caithness companies are heading to Aberdeen this week to target new business at the UK's largest renewable energy event.
The All-Energy Exhibition & Conference this year has attracted over 500 exhibitors from 20 countries across the world. Being held on Wednesday and Thursday, it is a key event for Caithness and Sutherland businesses seeking opportunities in manufacturing or supply for wind, wave, tidal, hydro and biomass technologies.
Caithness Chamber of Commerce is taking a number of local companies on its stand, under the banner of its 'Invest Caithness' initiative, a partnership project funded by HIE and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).
Chamber Chief Executive Trudy Morris said: "Given the area's on-going work in the energy sector, All-Energy is one of the most important events of the calendar for Caithness Chamber members. Our stand has been very busy over the past two years, and we expect attendance to be even greater this year.
"Our Invest Caithness brand gives us the opportunity to promote and raise awareness of the key assets and capabilities of the area. We will be sharing the space with local companies such as Energy Hunt, Mowat Technical Design Services & Caledonia Green Innovation, Scrabster Harbour Trust, Ignis Energy, Wick Harbour Authority and New Park Ltd as well as carrying information on a range of other local businesses.
"We will also be promoting our new "Make The Right Connections" skills programme which has been funded by the European Social Fund, NDA, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and Skills Development Scotland (SDS). This programme aims to redefine the skills of the local area, match them to the requirements of the emergent sectors, assist in addressing the skills gap and train for the future. We firmly believe Caithness and north Sutherland has much offer and benefit the global energy market."
A number of local companies will also be taking their own All-Energy exhibition space. These include the Environmental Research Centre with the University of the Highlands and Islands and Scrabster with the Port Services Group.
Caithness based renewable engineering firm EnergyHunt, which delivers engineering and marine project management services for a wide range of international renewables clients, will also be there.
EnergyHunt's founder and director, Richard Hunt said: "We are currently winning energy contracts in the north and elsewhere through new and repeat business with utilities, technology developers and in offering project support for larger consultancies from outwith the area. We see All-Energy as an opportunity to promote our services, skills and experience and to bring added commerce to the area."
HIE will be featuring 68 Highlands and Islands companies through its stand under the "HIE Energy" brand.
Calum Davidson, HIE's new Director of Energy and Low Carbon, said: "Our area is home to arguably the best combination of natural resources, technology development, testing and deployment infrastructure and a highly skilled and expert workforce and supply chain. Events like this allow us to work with global businesses to ensure we create the right conditions at the right time allowing our local companies to be fully integrated into UK and European supply chains."