Sofia launches Supplier Portal to boost UK supply chain

  • 20 July 2020

Supplier Portal launched including open search directory

  • Open search suppliers directory launched by Sofia 
  • Improving visibility of opportunities for contractors eager to work with one of the world’s largest offshore wind farm projects
  • Aim to boost UK content with a focus on the North East supply chain cluster

As Sofia Offshore Wind Farm heads towards construction, the team behind it has launched an online open search directory to boost UK supply chain opportunities, particularly in the  North East.

The directory is part of a wider portal that will also highlight upcoming contract opportunities with Sofia and its key contractors, and will publish case studies on how UK companies have contributed to the development of the wind farm that is set to be built 195 kilometres from the UK coast on the shallow central area of the North Sea known as Dogger Bank.

The wind farm is 100% owned by RWE, the second biggest player in offshore wind globally and the UK's second largest generator of electricity. By 2022, RWE plans to invest €5 billion net in the continued expansion of renewable energy, and with the UK one of their core markets in Europe, this is positive news for the UK supply chain.

Mike Nolan, Sofia Offshore Wind Farm’s Head of Procurement said: “We are keen to maximise the involvement of UK companies as the project progresses, particularly with onshore construction due to start in Teesside in the first quarter of 2021.

“Our key aim for the online directory is to provide a platform for suppliers to create their own presence, tailored to their offshore wind ambitions, and for others throughout the offshore wind supply chain to use it to search for the goods and services they need.

“We encourage all suppliers with an interest in working with the project to register their details online, and we will work closely with our Tier 1 suppliers to make sure they also fully engage with the features of the portal.”

This includes global manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, who has signed a preferred supplier agreement with Sofia to provide the project’s wind turbines plus GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions and Sembcorp Marine, who together will supply the state-of-the-art high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system.

Siemens Gamesa has an active potential and confirmed UK supplier base in a number of commodity areas and there will be opportunities for these firms, and others, to tender for a range of ser-vices particularly related to port and vessel activity. Likewise there will be opportunities for UK sup-pliers in the HVDC package as a significant element of all the primary equipment will be manufactured and fabricated from GE’s Grid Solutions’ Stafford facilities.

“As more suppliers come on board we will encourage their active participation in the portal to ensure it adds maximum value to the project, to our suppliers, and to potential suppliers across the supply chain.”

The new online portal can be viewed here.

Sofia has a preferred supplier agreement for turbines with Siemens Gamesa, which has an active potential and confirmed UK supplier base representing positive opportunities for the supply chain.