March 21, 2014 9.20 am This story is over 92 months old

Taking advantage of the offshore wind supply chain

Renewable energy: Dr Nick Cheffins of Sustain Lincolnshire explains how and why county firms should get more involved in offshore wind farms.

Joining a circular economy is an ideal way for local businesses to connect with and utilise one another’s goods and services, which in turn will create a more robust, green supply chain throughout the county.

One of Sustain Lincolnshire’s primary goals is to increase the number of local businesses benefitting from a circular economy and green supply chain. As a result, we’ve targeted offshore wind as an industry about to experience rapid growth and estimated to become worth more than £100 billion over the next twenty years.

Lincolnshire’s businesses must to be ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that await, especially since the range of goods and services in demand by the offshore companies covers the full width of county’s business sector.

It’s hard to know why, but despite these figures, many small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the county are unaware of the tremendous prospects available within such a lucrative industry.

It may be lack of awareness or, possibly, a misconception that opportunities to get involved in the supply chain are limited to wind turbine engineering and manufacture – however that is not the case at all. In fact, companies working on offshore wind projects are actively seeking suppliers across a very broad industrial spectrum.

For example, some of the industries being sought out by offshore projects include:

  • General fabrication and welding services for component supply and construction
  • Suppliers of personal protective equipment for on and offshore workers
  • Port-a-Cabin hire for prefabricated, modular and temporary building solutions
  • Freight and logistics services for the construction, engineering and on-going servicing phases of offshore wind projects
  • General plant hire for the construction and engineering sectors

Large multinational companies are now on record as seeking to recruit Lincolnshire SMEs into their supply chains, recognising that sourcing local can offer innovation, as well as competitively priced goods and services.

Opportunities within the offshore wind industry are plentiful, but businesses need to be proactive in seeking them out.

Following from our March 6 Climate Week event, which gave businesses an overview and introduction to the opportunities within the offshore wind industry, local companies that want to know how they can fit info the offshore wind supply chain should attend Procurement Lincolnshire’s Meet the Buyer event at The Showroom in Lincoln on the March 25.

At the event, businesses will be able to meet with industry executives responsible for purchasing good and services looking to contract with Lincolnshire businesses, such as Siemens’ Procurement Manager, Paul Savvides. To book a free place at the Meet the Buyer event, please contact Natasha Clegg at the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce on 01522 523333.

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Dr Nick Cheffins is the director of Peakhill Associates, the firm tasked with heading the Green Supply Chain Development programme for SUSTAIN Lincolnshire. With over twelve years working with businesses across the region, Nick has helped countless companies connect with one another, in addition to staging over five major supply chain events throughout Lincolnshire.