An energy delegation from the Department for International Trade, including representatives from the Netherlands, France, Germany and the UK, has visited Blyth in Northumberland as part of a fact finding mission to promote trade and export opportunities in the growing global energy sector.
The trip which was organised by Arch, with the support of the Port of Blyth and Invest North East England, is the latest stage in the development of Blyth’s position as a premier east coast location for a range of energy based industries including the offshore renewables and subsea sectors.
The visit, which included a tour of the Port of Blyth and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult facilities, provided an opportunity to see first-hand the expert support offered to the established cluster of offshore energy companies in Blyth such as IHC Engineering, OSBIT and EDF Energy Renewables which is developing the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm – a ground breaking project which will see five wind turbines installed off the coast of Blyth in quarter two of 2017, using innovative gravity based foundations that will ultimately provide enough low carbon electricity to power around 34,000 homes.
During the visit, delegates were also able to see the range of strategic Enterprise Zone investment sites at the Port of Blyth including the 200ha East Sleekburn site along with the internationally recognised research and development capability at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult including its 100m blade testing facilities and 2 megawatt drive train facility.
Michiel Hendrickx, Senior Trade Advisor, Department for International Trade, Netherlands said:
“’The visit to the North East of England has provided the delegation with real insight into the significant renewable energy investment and export capabilities from the region, all underpinned by access to a quality workforce, leading industrial cluster capability and globally recognised R&D facilities offered by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult at Blyth, Northumberland.
The opportunity to see these capabilities, assets and meet with key stakeholders from the North East of England ensures we have the networks to realise these opportunities across a range of European markets such as Germany, France and the Netherlands as well”
John Hildreth, Business Growth and Investment Manager, Arch commented:
“The global opportunities provided by the offshore energy sector are key to driving forward our plans at Blyth. We are keen to help existing businesses in Blyth and across Northumberland to export their expertise, innovation and knowledge in areas such as subsea technologies, offshore engineering and advanced manufacturing into a markets which are growing across the world.
Blyth is well placed through its existing cluster of energy related companies to grow and flourish as well as having the potential to benefit from new projects such as EDF’s innovative offshore demonstrator at Blyth and the potential for Round 3 wind farm projects in the North Sea such as Dogger Bank”.
Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive, Port of Blyth added:
“Hosting delegates from across Europe in Blyth on behalf of Arch and the Department for International Trade is a huge honour. The opportunity to showcase our activity as a premier port location for the offshore energy sector, supported by a strong industrial cluster and underpinned by our approach to working with our clients to find the best possible outcomes is something we are always willing to demonstrate”.