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Building on a legacy that includes shipbuilding, the oil & gas sector, where 70 percent of the oil rigs operating in the North Sea were built here, and the specialist subsea sector where the North East of England is a global leader, the region has evolved its capabilities to serve growing energy requirements.
This offshore energy and marine expertise and the ability to diversify into new sectors has enabled the North East to make a significant contribution to the creation, operation and ongoing maintenance of renewable energy generation.
Most notably, this has been led by offshore wind where the North East supply chain has been highly active since the formative stages of the sector, but continues, not only in offshore renewables, but in emerging markets such as hydrogen, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries.
Supporting supply chain companies for more than 30 years, including a large cluster in the North East, is NOF, the business development organisation for the energy sector. Based in the region, but with a truly international reach, NOF helps make valuable connections between businesses in the global energy sector.
With a membership of more than 400 businesses and organisations, NOF has an extensive network of partners, which stretches across the oil and gas, offshore renewables, nuclear, CCS and hydrogen industries, connecting companies of all sizes within the supply chain, creating opportunities to win new work and support the energy transition.
NOF has consistently evolved to be able to provide the most relevant industry connections and intelligence to ensure that the supply chain can bring its innovative technology-led solutions to either deliver clean energy or reduce the environmental impact, increases efficiencies and maintain the highest levels of safety.
Its services are delivered by a proactive and experience team, which will be led, from January 2022, by incoming Chief Executive, Joanne Leng MBE. Joanne, who is currently Deputy Chief Executive, succeeds long-standing Chief Executive, George Rafferty, who will remain with NOF as Director of Strategy and Growth
“I am very proud to become Chief Executive and continue NOF’s aim to ensure our members can play a pivotal role in the energy transition and the journey towards net zero,” said Joanne.
“This is an exciting and incredibly important time for the energy sector and the North East is playing an increasingly important role, both in terms of the quality and experience of the supply chain companies in the region, but also through the inward investment that’s taking place here.”
The drive towards clean energy has seen the North East benefit from significant inward investments, which will create significant opportunities for the supply chain and cement the region’s position at the heart of the energy transition.
Located 130km off the North East coast, the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, the largest development of its kind in the world, brings with it significant benefits for this region. This includes plans for an Operations & Maintenance Base at the Port of Tyne, developed by Equinor, which is the joint venture partner in the Dogger Bank Wind Farm with SSE Renewables.
It will create 200 direct jobs as well as opportunities for the supply chain and also highlights Port of Tyne’s commitment to support low carbon operations. It has set out a ‘Tyne 2050’ strategy, which features the creation of the Tyne Clean Energy Park, which will include the Dogger Bank Wind Farm’s O&M base and will create facilities for the offshore wind supply chain.
Further positive developments are taking place along the coast at Port of Blyth where a multi-million-pound investment is underway, which includes its Bates Clean Energy Terminal, offering enhanced facilities and the opportunity for low carbon-focused investment and innovation. This development supports the port’s wider decarbonisation strategy.
Away from offshore industries, the region is also benefiting from its automotive expertise, attracting investment to support EV industries including Britishvolt’s plans for a £2.6bn battery Gigafactory in Blyth, that will support 3,000 jobs and up to 5,000 more in the wider supply chain.
The region’s flagship car manufacturer Nissan unveiled plans in the summer for a new model electric vehicle and the creation of a new battery Gigafactory delivered by its partner Envision AESC, which is investing £450m in the factory that will create 750 jobs and is part of a £1bn partnership between Nissan UK and Sunderland City Council to create an EV hub in the region.
Also in Sunderland, hydrogen innovator Haskel has secured a multi-million investment from its US owners, to meet global demand for its technologies from hydrogen filling station customers, which will help the business treble in size.
“These developments are just some of the examples of the vibrancy of the North East’s energy industry and presents considerable opportunities for the regional supply chain to help the UK meet its net zero targets and achieve decarbonisation,” said Joanne.
For the best route to business in the energy sector, visit nof.co.uk
Sourced from: Business Live