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Seven companies across Caithness and Orkney begin pioneering programme to parachute them into offshore renewable success

Seven businesses hailing from the north of Scotland and Orkney aiming to break into the multibillion-pound offshore renewables energy market have been selected for the first Fit For Offshore Renewables (F4OR) programme in the region.

The industry leading F4OR supply chain growth programme is delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, will be supported by £125,000 from West of Orkney Windfarm, and will take companies 12-18 months to complete.

The seven selected companies are:

The chosen companies come from a wide range of sectors including engineering, marine renewables, offshore operations and maintenance, and subsea monitoring.

The F4OR programme has been designed alongside offshore wind industry experts with a focus on giving businesses the skills and expertise to deliver success in the offshore renewables sector. It has experienced widespread success across the UK since it started in 2019. To date, five F4OR regional programmes have been delivered in the North East of Scotland, North East of England, East Anglia and Suffolk, alongside national programmes run across Scotland and UK-wide. Over 110 companies have been supported altogether, with participants experiencing an average 28% increase in turnover and many securing a wide range of new contracts.

Davood Sabaei, F4OR Programme Manager at ORE Catapult, said: “We are delighted to be embarking on our first ever F4OR programme across Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney, and we look forward to working alongside these local companies on their journey towards success in offshore renewables.

“This region already has a long and proud history of delivering engineering excellence in relation to sectors like oil & gas. As part of the just transition that we want to drive across Scotland and the rest of the UK, this programme will help these innovative local companies transfer their skills and knowledge to be ready to meet the extraordinary demand we expect to see from offshore wind in the coming years.”

Stuart McAuley, West of Orkney Windfarm Project Director, said: “We’ve been engaging with businesses and organisations in the north of Scotland for a number of years.


“Although construction of ScotWind projects will not ramp up fully for a few years, early engagement with the local supply chain is critical. Participation in this F4OR programme will equip forward-looking firms with the attributes they need to compete successfully for future contracts.”

Iain Taylor, manufacturing site manager, Imenco UK Ltd based in Wick said: “We are very excited to be part of the F4OR programme since we have identified the renewables market as a strategic target to strengthen and grow our business. The F4OR programme has already proven of benefit to companies getting ready to secure work in this market and we are looking forward to being part of it for Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney.

“The maritime environment is where we founded our core businesses of subsea engineering, aquaculture and harsh environment imaging and communication equipment and we want to build upon that knowledge by developing products and services that capitalise on the exciting engineering opportunities presented by the renewable market.”

David Thomson AFNI, managing director, Kirkwall-based Orcades Marine Management Consultants Ltd said: “I am very pleased that Orcades Marine has been successful in its application to join the F4OR programme. It’s an exciting time for offshore wind development and particularly relevant for our location in Orkney. We are looking forward to participating in the programme and to exploring the opportunities and areas where our extensive experience in the ports and shipping industry and in wave and tidal energy projects are relevant and transferable to the offshore wind sector.”

John Henderson, managing director, Ocean Kinetics based in Kirkwall said: “Ocean Kinetics are delighted to have been selected for the F4OR programme. Operating from modern facilities in Orkney, Shetland, Aberdeen, and Ireland, with comprehensive engineering, fabrication, installation, and maintenance services to the renewable sector, we are equipped to meet the increasing demands of the offshore and onshore renewables industry. Our services include design, welding and fabrication, CNC machining, pipe work, mechanical and structural works, NDT and pressure testing, IRATA rope access, diving and ROV services, plant and equipment supply as well as marine services including vessel hire, pier and quay construction, salvage and decommissioning.”

The West of Orkney Windfarm remains on track to start construction in 2027, with first power scheduled for 2029. It has engaged in a £105 million investment initiative during the development phase of the project to develop the supply chain that is planned to be enhanced to £140 million by match funding from third parties.

About the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult

ORE Catapult is the UK’s leading innovation centre for offshore renewable energy, established in 2013 by the UK Government as part of a network of Catapults set up by Innovate UK in high growth industries.

Independent and trusted, with a unique combination of world leading test and demonstration facilities, engineering and research expertise, ORE Catapult convenes the sector, delivering applied research, accelerating technology development, reducing risk and cost, and enhancing UK-wide economic growth.

ORE Catapult operates in Glasgow, Blyth, Levenmouth, Aberdeen, the Humber, the East of England, the South West and Wales, and operates a collaborative research partnership in China.


bout West of Orkney Windfarm

In 2022, the West of Orkney Windfarm secured the rights to an area of seabed from Crown Estate Scotland in the ScotWind leasing process to bring forward a 2GW fixed foundation windfarm around 30km west of the Orkney Mainland. The project is being developed in a joint venture comprising Corio Generation, TotalEnergies and Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG).

The developer has already supported several initiatives in the north of Scotland, including a £1 million research and development programme being led by EMEC in Orkney, and a £900,000 education initiative led by UHI, alongside their support for the F4OR Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney programme.

For more information, go to https://www.westoforkney.com/

For more information contact:

Pamela Bailey, PR Manager, 07771 206307, pamela.bailey@ore.catapult.org.uk

Neil Davidson, PR Advisor,07545 735402,Neil.davidson@westoforkney.com