Businesses are set to benefit from significant supply chain opportunities created by ScotWind through the Fit For Offshore Renewables programme.
Twenty businesses based in North East Scotland are ready to reap the rewards from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Fit For Offshore Renewables (F4OR) Programme, funded by the Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) Ltd and delivered in partnership with the Nuclear AMRC and Opergy.
The latest round of the programme received 48 expressions of interest, from which 20 companies were selected. This brings the number of companies in Scotland supported through the Catapult’s industry-leading supply chain growth programme to 49, with 12 already achieving F4OR ‘Granted Status’.
The companies selected come from a wide range of sectors and include services such as consultancy, engineering, health and safety and asset inspection.
£250,000 has been awarded by ETZ Ltd to fund the programme. The not-for-profit company has a clear ambition to reposition the North East of Scotland as global leader in energy transition and delivery of net zero targets and is part of the Scottish Government’s £14.3 million North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund (NEERSF).
The F4OR cohort announcement comes in the wake of the ScotWind leasing round results that presents a once in a generation opportunity to drive economic and supply chain growth and job creation within the offshore wind sector.
North East Scotland has a strong heritage of offshore operations from its world-leading role in the global oil and gas sector and is well placed to take advantage of the vast opportunity ahead with offshore wind.
As a result, preparing companies to be in the best possible position to bid for work within the sector off the back of ScotWind is a key component of the North East Scotland F4OR programme. In the first NE Scotland cohort, cross-sector pull was significant, with 93% of successful applicants not considering offshore wind as their primary market. Since taking part in the programme, several F4OR beneficiary companies in the region have secured contracts in the sector, including in the burgeoning floating wind market.
F4OR looks to bring to the fore highly experienced companies in the region with the skills, expertise and ambition to support the energy transition.
Andrew Stormonth-Darling, F4OR Programme Manager for ORE Catapult said: “The results from the ScotWind leasing round demonstrate a momentous opportunity for supply chain growth within Scotland, particularly in the North East region. This in turn gives regional businesses the confidence to facilitate cross-sector business transition, taking advantage of critical expertise and experience in some of the UK’s leading industries to meet the green energy demand. The F4OR programme will be there to provide the springboard for promising companies to make the leap.”
Andy Rodden, ETZ Ltd Director of Offshore Renewables, added: “Crown Estate Scotland’s decision to approve developments that will generate 24.8GW of offshore wind power, a significant increase on the anticipated 11GW, is hugely encouraging and recognition of the sheer scale of the opportunity before us.
“The Fit for Offshore Renewables programme continues to help companies across the region develop the skills and capabilities from manufacturing right through to operations and maintenance needed to be part of the fast-evolving transition our industry is currently undergoing.
“ETZ Ltd supported the first cohort of Fit for Offshore Renewables with great success, and we are delighted to award this funding to support more companies as we accelerate the North East of Scotland’s ambition to become a globally recognised integrated energy cluster focussed on the delivery of net zero.”
The latest NE Scotland programme will bring the total number of companies supported through all of the regional programmes across the UK to 88, with 22 companies having already gained the coveted F4OR Granted status. Companies progressing through the F4OR programme typically see an increase in turnover of 23% and job creation up 13%.
The latest regional programme follows the announcement last month of the first national F4OR programmelaunched by the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) and delivered by ORE Catapult. The national programme will build on the success of the regional F4OR programmes that have been delivered across the UK by ORE Catapult and its partners, Nuclear AMRC and Opergy. Applicants for the regional programmes must be geographically located within that region, but the national programme is open to companies based anywhere in the UK.