North East England is the ideal investment location from which to exploit the opportunities in the offshore energy market. With a wide range of sites next to deep water and suitable for the full range of offshore wind industry requirements – the manufacture of foundations, jackets, cables and other key components, as well as the siting of operations and maintenance facilities, North East England works for the offshore renewables sector.
“The North East is at the leading edge of innovation around offshore wind and has a growing supply chain base with a great future outlook to export their expertise globally.” Joanne Leng MBE, deputy chief executive of NOF Energy and deputy chair of Energi Coast
Why offshore renewable firms choose to invest in North East England
- Exceptional market access to the wind developments in the North Sea including Dogger Bank, Hornsea and Firth of Forth
- Over 400 ha of key riverside development land at 30 separate sites
- Over 7km of quay next to deep water
- Low cost base – our region’s labour costs for an engineer are nearly 15% lower than in Aberdeen and an energy R&D centre based here can make £2.5m in annual cost savings, compared to London (Financial Times Benchmarking Study)
- A fantastic array of world-class R+D and testing facilities such as the National Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Testing facility, and the National Centre for Subsea and Offshore Engineering
- A booming business and supply chain cluster, registering a 60% growth in the number of energy-related companies over the past four years
- Our region is served by the Ports of Blyth, Sunderland and Tyne. Newcastle International airport and well-connected national rail network allows for executive and workforce movement throughout the UK
- North East England is a key Operations and Maintenance facilities location to service offshore wind farms with huge potential for an expansion of this role
- Centuries of maritime and engineering heritage with a reputation for technological innovation
Real depth in offshore capabilities
Our superb deep water port facilities at the Port of Blyth, Port of Tyne and Port of Sunderland all offer excellent road and rail infrastructure links along with state-of-the-art logistics solutions.
North East England offers a fantastic array of world-class R+D and testing facilities such as
ORE Catapult – ORE Catapult, located in Blyth, Northumberland, is the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for advancing wind, wave and tidal energy.
Tyne Subsea: National Centre for Offshore and Subsea Engineering – The £7m National Centre for Subsea and Offshore Engineering is the first of its kind in the UK, bringing together industry and academia to create a world-class engineering research facility. Operating over two sites, the facility also includes six hyperbaric chambers allowing tests to 600bar
Key Development Sites with Access to Deep Water
The region boasts a superb portfolio of high quality industrial development sites, all with easy access to deep water ports and many with Enterprise Zone (EZ) benefits such as enhanced capital allowances for investment in plant and machinery.
Sites include the Neptune Energy Park on the River Tyne, with EZ designated development land available for energy firms and home to an existing cluster of specialist companies such as GE Oil and Gas, Technip Umbilicals and Bridon International.
The A&P Tyne Shipyard has the largest commercial dry dock on England’s east coast, with two deep water berths and modern fabrication facilities complete with a panel line, rolling, plasma and gas burning machines.
The Port of Blyth is home to the first offshore wind farm in the UK and the National Offshore Renewable Energy Centre Catapult research facility. There are over 200ha of development sites at the port including sites with EZ designation.
There are other key EZ sites a on the Tyne at Royal Quays, Swans and at Tyne Dock in South Shields as well as a large EZ site and significant operational capacity at the Port of Sunderland.
Unbeatable skills availability
North East England has a reputation for providing an unrivalled skills pool for offshore and marine roles as well as fabrication skills, and those necessary for engineering design and innovation. There is a well-established joint commitment between education and business, to mould work-ready graduates by giving them ‘real world’ experiences to guide them into their chosen field of expertise.
Northumberland College is training tomorrow’s workforce in offshore renewable skills at its Wind Turbine Technical Training Centre at the Port of Blyth. The centre provides access to a 27m high climbing tower for ‘working at height’, training technicians in servicing and maintaining wind turbines.
Newcastle College’s Energy Academy offers qualifications up to degree level in energy technology, manufacturing, maintenance and apprenticeships.
This training excellence is enhanced by a number of world-renowned private sector training providers such as Maersk Training and AIS locating themselves in the region.
Check out this video from NOF Energy showcasing the regions Offshore Wind Capabilities