Trades unions, offshore wind developers and supply chain companies reached an agreement during a summit held by Scotland’s finance secretary Derek Mackay and energy minister Paul Wheelhouse. The industry representatives agreed that collective action was needed to ensure local supply chain companies benefit from upcoming offshore wind projects.
As a result of the summit, the Scottish government has promised to explore the options open for attaching supply-chain conditions and incentives to Crown Estate Scotland leases; and to look at the ways in which the Scottish Parliament reviews and approves decommissioning plans. In addition, representatives from the offshore wind sector committed to undertaking a strategic capability assessment of fabrication in the UK and to identify the areas with the highest potential for growth.
“Scotland has all the natural resources to make it an ideal location for offshore wind, but recent projects have failed to deliver significant economic opportunities for Scottish businesses,” said Mackay, speaking after the summit. “I will continue to champion the strengths, and potential, of our indigenous supply chain. But now it is time for the offshore sector to do more by awarding contracts to our supply chain. I acknowledge that the supply chain must work hard to seek opportunities – making strategic investments and considering appropriate collaborations when tendering for contracts.
“The environmental benefits of our renewable sector are clear, but we must also ensure that we maximise the economic benefits that this sector can deliver for communities across Scotland. I am determined that we will use every lever at our disposal to ensure that our renewables supply chain benefits from the expansion of offshore wind in Scottish waters.”
The chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Ørsted UK country manager for offshore, Benj Sykes, said: “The offshore wind industry will continue to work closely with the Scottish Government, and indeed all governments, to ensure communities up and down the country reap the economic benefits offshore wind offers - creating thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs and attracting billions of pounds in investment, especially in coastal areas.
“We have increased our ambitions for UK content and set a 2030 target of 60%. To support it, an independent supply chain review was undertaken earlier this year. The industry is working together to establish a new Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, of up to £100 million which will help UK supply chain companies to compete for multi-billion-pound business opportunities in this thriving sector.”
Delegates will meet again later this year to review progress.