Why is Northern Europe choosing Scottish renewables suppliers?
More and more Scottish companies are operating in Germany, Denmark and other North European renewable energy markets. Here, Maggie McGinlay, Scottish Enterprise's director of energy and clean technologies explains who's doing well there, and why.
It's no revelation that international competitiveness is fundamental to Scotland’s future, and our offshore wind sector has a critical role to play in that.
Scotland's renewable sector already contributes significantly on theinternational front – from building our international reputation based on our natural resources, skills and expertise to the global exchange of our companies, people and institutions, offshore wind continues to be one of Scotland’s emerging global success stories.
We know that Scotland’s supply chain remains in a strong position at a global level.
FoundOcean's Keith Miller and Jim Bell, with Energy Minister Fergus Ewing (centre)
We need to focus on really homing in on sub-sector opportunities in sub-geographies – making sure we we’re targeting the right products and services at the right markets.
Take FoundOcean for example.
Here’s a company with over 40 years experience in the oil and gas sector which has taken its core business expertise in foundation and structural grouting, and successfully turned its attention to the potential of offshore wind.
Just over a year ago the company opened an office in Bremen to tap into the potential of the fast-growing German offshore wind market.
The company has already worked on a number of projects in market, including Bokrum West and Nordsee Ost (pictured) – two major offshore wind farms being developed off the German coast. It’s also making headway in the French market and actively considering opportunities in Asia.
This is a great example of a company thinking both bigger and better by targeting a specific new market with a specific product and service.
So, why should European companies look to Scotland for suppliers?
Here, we know there are specific opportunities in areas such as installation, such as onshore assembly, offshore installation, cable laying and commissioning. This is where Scottish companies can make the biggest impact, thanks to the skills and expertise gained in the oil and gas sector.
But we also stand out in fields of surveying and geo monitoring, turbine manufacturing and balance of plant (all infrastructure other than the turbine, tower, foundations and cable manufacturing – a particular expertise of Scottish fabricators).
Along with FoundOcean’s success, there are many other examples of the Scottish supply chain taking its experience to Northern Europe.
ROVOP's remote operating vehicles support turbine tower installation and cable laying. At the end of 2012 the company announced £7million in contracts for wind farms in Germany, Denmark and Belgium.
Petrofac has opened a German office to support the internationalisation of its Aberdeen based offshore wind activities and provided engineering support to Siemens in Germany for the construction of their offshore substations
Technip has secured the cable installation contract for phase 1 of the Borkum Wind Farm.
Subsea 7 trading as Seaway Heavy Lifting has won the contract to install Siemens Sylwin Alpha Transmission Station
Bifab have representative in Germany - their turbine jackets have been in Germany for over two years
Sgurr Energy advise KfW IPEX-Bank on their investments in German offshore wind farms
Milestones of the past year show that we have all the components we need to become a global leader when it comes to the test and demonstration and deployment of offshore wind.
Tap into Scotland's renewables supply chain