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Scottish businesses gear up for renewables jobs boom

22 September 2010

Offshore wind operations and maintenance to create 1000 new jobs.

Scottish port owners and companies operating in the renewables supply chain are gathering in Glasgow tomorrow, 23rd September 2010, to grab a slice of the UK's £100 billion offshore wind market.

The inaugural Offshore Wind Operations and Maintenance event is being hosted by Scottish Enterprise in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), to bring together the key players in future operations and maintenance of Scotland's offshore wind farms.

With more than 2000 offshore turbines expected to be constructed off Scotland's coast over the next decade, plans are underway to ensure offshore wind farm developers are fully supported by Scottish ports and companies who are able to provide critical operations and maintenance services.

The event will offer insight into the preparation and implementation of offshore wind farms and the significant range of operations and maintenance business opportunities available throughout a typical wind farm life cycle of 26 years.

Adrian Gillespie, Director of Energy at Scottish Enterprise said: "Operations and maintenance of offshore wind farms is expected to make up to 25% of total offshore wind farm costs and expected to create up to 1000 direct jobs alone. The economic prize is high to those who are off the starting blocks quickly and we are keen to support Scottish businesses to seize opportunities.

"Scotland's rich history and unrivalled experience in oil and gas operations and maintenance, concentrated in the North East, gives us a real strong competitive advantage. It is now about capitalising on that wealth of knowledge and expertise to create a well connected, efficient and effective supply chain that can service offshore wind farms. By doing so we not only capture the economic benefit for Scotland but we also further develop our position as the best location in the world for offshore wind development. "

Adrian will be joined at the event by operations and maintenance experts from SSE Renewables, Dong Energy Power, BVG Associates and more than 150 developers, port owners and supply chain companies to explore potential collaborations and business opportunities which will be made available by the forthcoming Scottish Territorial Water and Crown Estate Round Three wind farm developments offer.

A typical supply chain for an operations and maintenance facility includes turbine manufacturer, vessel charter, helicopter charter, security and facilities management, specialist underwater survey teams and training.

Colin Grant of the HIE Energy Team said: "This event comes at a very exciting time for the offshore renewables sector in Scotland. At HIE we see the huge opportunities our coastal communities across the region offer, from Shetland to Kintyre and the Outer Hebrides to Moray.

"HIE wants to understand better what our industry and offshore wind developers require to make decisions about the ports they will use to take forward their projects. In partnership with other public sector organisations we are looking forward to ensuring Scotland is ready to support the offshore renewables sector."

The event preludes a 'game-changing' conference for the future of Scotland's low carbon and renewables ambition. The Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference, supported by the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, which is being held in Edinburgh on 27 and 28 September, is bringing public and private sector expertise together in a collaborative effort to find funding solutions for projects in the low carbon sector.

Adrian continued: "What is clear is that operations and maintenance for offshore wind is an evolving sector and there is an immediate requirement for developers, ports and key supply chain companies to work together to maximise the long term opportunities in the sector. This event will hopefully mark the start of long term fruitful collaborations that will cement Scotland's position as the most effective and efficient offshore wind farm location in the world."

Download the brochure here - O&M workshop brochure 

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