NORN From Left Jake Watt LEF, Neil Manson VOAR Energy Chair, John Henderson Ocean Kinetics,Andrew Gear HIE, Tom Wills VOAR Energy And Ryan Stevenson Malakoff Resized

Norn secures HIE funding to capture offshore wind opportunity

Published: 22/09/2023

A Shetland-based engineering alliance has been awarded £101,500 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to accelerate plans to deliver major floating offshore wind contracts and large-scale energy projects.

Norn combines the expertise of four leading engineering firms - Malakoff, Ocean Kinetics, LEF and Voar Energy, all based on the islands. Together, the four companies have many decades of energy experience as well as fabrication at sites across Shetland and in Orkney, Peterhead and Aberdeen. With more than 300 staff in total, they provide the scale required for Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) component assemblies and other major engineering packages of work.

The £203,000 project will support Norn to develop organisational structures and grow the business. It is expected to lead to the creation of seven high quality FTE jobs over the next three years.

The scale of ScotWind, INTOG and other energy developments in the pipeline will see significant demand for the services of Shetland and the wider Northern Isles supply chain over the coming decade. Shetland’s NE1 projects alone have committed to spend over £2 billion on Scottish supply chain services, which has the potential to deliver significant economic benefit. The the scale of such projects could outstrip the capacity of existing local companies and the Scottish supply chain.

By leveraging the companies' collective engineering expertise and resources, Norn aims to provide the necessary scale and capability to support delivery of large and complex energy projects, capturing more economic benefit for the islands.

Andrew Gear, head of business growth at HIE, said: 

“These companies are important local employers who have played a key role in delivering many of the largest energy projects in Shetland in recent years. We’re pleased to see the collaboration between them and to be able to provide support for the Norn’s growth, accelerating the company’s ability to create new jobs with a sustainable business model.

“There is significant economic opportunity for Shetland over the coming decade in the energy sector and FOW offers a massive long-term opportunity for the islands.

“Due to the sheer scale of FOW, we need collaborative approaches, like Norn’s, if Shetland is to achieve the scale required to support the delivery of offshore wind and capture more of the economic benefit on island.

Ahead of a visit by the Norn team to the Floating Offshore Conference in Aberdeen on 25 September, Neil Manson, Chair of Norn said:

“Located at the heart of proposed offshore development sites and home to deep-water harbours and an exceptionally well-experienced supply chain, Shetland is the ideal gateway for unlocking immense clean energy potential.

“Norn’s strength lies in unrivalled engineering expertise, unique knowledge of Northern Isles supply chain networks and deep experience of project delivery. The Norn partners have a proven track record of success across a range of engineering disciplines and by collaborating, we can provide an even more complete and scalable offering to clients in the offshore wind and wider energy sectors.

“We are pleased to receive this funding from HIE, which will help us develop the business at a faster pace than we could achieve on our own. We are now working hard to secure contracts in floating offshore wind and the wider green energy sector, to create more jobs and increased economic activity for Shetland and our other locations in the north of Scotland.

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