Supporting the supply chain in the North East
As strategic event partner for this year's flagship offshore wind supply chain event in the region - Offshore Wind North East 2022 - RWE's Sofia team was actively involved across the two days, and was behind one of the major announcements made at the event.
Team members were on-hand at the business lounge throughout the event to talk to event delegates about RWE, the Sofia project and the offshore wind sector in general, ensuring access to project management and technical experts. More than 900 people attended this year's OWNE - organised by NOF and supported by Energi Coast - and there were around 130 exhibitors, making it the biggest and busiest event to date.
On the first day RWE's Dr Mark Legerton, Director of Offshore Development UK & Ireland spoke at the Welcome Session with a presentation focussing on collaboration between developers and the supply chain and the need to focus on the four key areas of green growth, innovation, infrastructure and skills.
Showing collaboration in action, the welcome was followed by Sofia's Supply Chain Plan Manager Graham Wright who run a joint session with GE's Grid Solutions HVDC Project Director Stuart Fitzpatrick giving an overview of the project's progress and how the teams are working together, with a focus on latest activity, innovation and skills development.
As part of its commitment to skills, Sofia invited two students from Newcastle University's Renewable Energy Masters Degree course along to the event. They were thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about the offshore wind industry, speak to potential future suppliers and meet those with experience in the sector.
During the summer Sofia worked closely with NCS (National Citizen Service) to support the delivery of their 2022 Enterprise Challenge encouraging better gender balance, to more than 1600 young people. On day two of OWNE, representatives of NCS - External Relations Lead, Kirsty Beeston and Divisional Marketing Manager, Jonny Marshall - joined the skills session to summarise the initiative and also give a wider perspective on how the offshore wind sector can engage better with the wider youth sector to encourage a more diverse future workforce.
Finally, also on November 10, Port of Blyth announced its contract with North Yorkshire based Van Oord Offshore Wind UK Limited to store and mobilise around 350km of inter-array cable that will be installed at Sofia.
This contract award was highlighted by Roy van Loveren, Area Manager UK & Ireland at Van Oord, who said: “North East England is strategically important to Van Oord and this contract reflect both the opportunities open to our business to contribute to the region’s offshore wind infrastructure, but, as in the case of Port of Blyth, build partnerships with local organisations that strengthen the area’s role in the development of major offshore wind projects".
As a significant fixture not only in the regional, but also in the national, offshore wind event calendar, Offshore Wind North East continues to be a 'must-attend' two-days for developers like RWE and projects like Sofia, as well as for the hundreds of current and future offshore wind suppliers.
The date for the next Offshore Wind North East is November 8 and 9, 2023 and more details visit the events page of the NOF website.