Associate Feature: Investing in the Economy, Driving the Supply Chain
Earlier this year Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind development, revealed its intention to invest up to £12bn directly with Scottish companies on developing and constructing offshore wind farms in the country over the next ten years, with £billions more to be spent with Scottish supply chain businesses once these wind farms become operational.
These proposals are contained in bids submitted to the Crown Estate Scotland through its ScotWind offshore wind leasing round and would provide more than 8.5GW of clean, renewable electricity if Ørsted’s bids are successful.
Ørsted’s proposed investment in Scotland would also help drive the growth of a world class Scottish supply chain. In the past five years alone, Ørsted has placed major contracts with nearly 100 suppliers across the UK, with many hundreds more supported throughout the wider supply chain. The company has also worked with over 30 UK-based companies to export their goods and services from the UK to support Ørsted’s global offshore wind farm portfolio, including Scottish companies working on projects in Taiwan, Germany and the USA. Scotland is particularly well placed to benefit from floating projects due to its expertise in subsea engineering and deep-water operations.
Duncan Clark, Head of Region UK for Ørsted is looking forward to bringing to bear Ørsted’s decades of experience to support the growth of the offshore wind industry and its supply chain in Scotland. This includes a commitment to work with Scottish ports and suppliers to develop infrastructure and a supply chain that will enable Scotland to establish itself as a leading player in the global offshore wind market:
“We have seen the positive, transformative impact of our offshore wind development in providing clean, cheap energy for homes and businesses all over the world; creating new jobs and skills that leave a lasting legacy in communities; and investing in local supply chains to help build their capabilities and open access to opportunities on our projects across the globe.
“For example, in Taiwan our team has been working closely with Taiwanese businesses and industry suppliers for a number of years to drive local supply chain development and provide support for these businesses to compete successfully in the offshore wind market. In 2018 Ørsted signed contracts with three new local suppliers Century Wind Power (CWP) and Formosa Heavy Industries Corporation (FHI) and China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC) to provide pin piles for our Greater Changhua 1 & 2a Offshore Wind Farms.
“Each pin pile is nearly 4 metres in diameter, weighs approximately 400 tons and is around 80-90 metres long, equivalent to the height of a 30-storey building. Despite their size, the manufacturing tolerance is only a few millimetres, and so it can be quite a challenge for suppliers without any offshore wind manufacturing experience to achieve the technical requirements.
“We signed contracts with our local suppliers early to allow sufficient lead time for them to properly prepare to fabricate the pin piles. Ørsted also provided a package of support for these new market entrants, which was designed to shorten their learning curve, help them ramp up their high-level welding competence and adopt international offshore wind QHSE standards to lay a solid foundation for them to grow and compete for other offshore wind projects in the future.
“In the United States our 2.4 GW Mid Atlantic cluster has been the catalyst for the construction of the first offshore wind manufacturing facility for monopiles in the country. Work began earlier this year on the 70-acre site in New Jersey which will create a significant long-term boost for the state’s economy, creating hundreds of jobs and positioning New Jersey as the supply chain hub of the American offshore wind industry.
“Through our existing UK projects, Ørsted has helped establish Grimsby and the Humber area as a global leader in offshore wind and this success can be replicated in Scotland. As the offshore wind industry stands poised for the development of commercial scale floating offshore wind, Scottish businesses are strongly positioned to benefit and cement Scotland’s world leading position in this exciting new technology.”
This article is sponsored by Ørsted.
Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe