Assets & Facilities

Leading research and innovation

The North East is home to world-leading research centres and innovation and demonstration assets in offshore renewables, subsea technologies, energy systems integration, energy materials and development of solutions towards a net-zero carbon future.  

The region is leading the world in developing innovative solutions to overcome issues when exploiting new oil, gas and offshore wind resources in more challenging environments.  

In-house innovation and R&D is flourishing in companies such as Baker Hughes, Technip FMC, Bel Valves, SMD, Osbit and IHC. These and others also make use of the world-leading R&D and testing assets located in North East England. 

The region’s energy innovation and demonstration asset base is united through a ground breaking cross-sector partnership, the North East Energy Catalyst. These assets include:

  • Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult – The UK’s flagship renewable energy technology innovation and research centre is a unique facility, located at Blyth, that offers the most comprehensive open access and independent test and research facilities anywhere in the world. It is capable of testing the world’s largest wind turbines and longest wind turbine blades.
  • Tyne Pressure Testing – brings together industry and academia to create a leading national centre for offshore and subsea engineering research and testing. It is aimed at developing new technologies using the unique array of six hyperbaric chamber and environmental test facilities which are capable of testing technologies and materials at temperatures and pressures equivalent to those found at the very deepest ocean depths (up to 6,000m).
  • Centre of Excellence for Marine Hydrodynamics, Coatings and Materials – the facility includes a newly refurbished Emerson Cavitation Tunnel, an experimental facility used to test propellers and turbine blades that is the only one of its kind in the UK.
  • Marine Testing Facility (Wet Dock) Swans Energy Park – the wet dock is supported by developed infrastructure heavy lifting capabilities. It measures 56 meters wide and 194 meters long with a half-tide 2.5m deep dock, suitable for construction projects, barge/ RoRo load-outs, lay by and marine testing.
  • National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI) – CESI draws on the expertise of leading academics from universities throughout the UK including Newcastle, Durham and Heriot-Watt to understand future supply and demand.
  • North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM) – NECEM uses the expertise across industry and academia to analyse interactions between materials and the environment in which they operate.
  • Maritime 2050 Innovation Hub – The UK’s first 2050 Maritime Innovation Hub, is an exciting partnership with Port of Tyne, Drax, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC), Nissan, Connected Places Catapult, Accenture, Royal HaskoningDHV, Ubisoft and the Department for Transport. The 2050 Maritime Innovation Hub inspires partners to collaborate to develop solutions to technological challenges facing the maritime sector and the wider logistics industry both nationally and globally.

Development sites

Our superb deepwater port facilities at the Port of Blyth, Port of Tyne and Port of Sunderland offer state-of-the-art logistics solutions for the energy sector.

Hundreds of acres of development land, much with Enterprise Zone status and boasting superb road, rail and deepwater berth access, are ready to welcome investors now. Sites include the Neptune Energy Park and Tyne Clean Energy Park on the River Tyne and Energy Central in Blyth.

Tyne Clean Energy Park – Provides a unique co-location opportunity for the renewables sector with unrestricted 24/7 marine access. The Port of Tyne’s new clean energy park will play an important role in supporting the government’s goal to power every UK home with offshore wind electricity.