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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Tom Keighley

North East energy sector players come together at 'pivotal moment' for the sector

Some of the leading players in the North East's energy industry have come together to discuss the transition to low carbon generation and how regional suppliers could benefit.

The meeting - convened by business development organisation NOF - was held at what has been described as a "pivotal moment" for the sector and featured senior representatives from firms such as bp, Orsted, Equinor, GE, Petrofac, Wood and px Group. Delegates discussed the role of UK suppliers in shaping net zero plans.

Amongst the issues discussed was recognition that increased Government ambitions across different energy industries would lead to pinch points in supply chains and concern that high profit industries will outbid others, limiting progress. The group - which met virtually and in person - talked about increased demands for products and services and the need to adequately train the workforce to meet project timelines.

Read more: Tyneside offshore specialist TechnipFMC seals deal worth more than £60m

Also on the agenda was the development of floating offshore wind and emerging hydrogen and carbon capture utilisation supply chain. This week, bp formally submitted plans for its HyGreen Teesside green hydrogen facility to the Government's Hydrogen Business Model (HBM) and Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (NZHF) in the hope it will receive financial support.

In the offshore wind sector it was recognised the current bidding and contracting structure was limiting innovation and deployment times because of a focus on lower cost. Firms noted supplier innovation and communication with developers needed to be supported through new workshops and programmes. And discrepancies in environmental, social and governance requirements between developments was causing suppliers to spend excessive resources in efforts to win work.

Joanne Leng MBE, chief executive of NOF. (Supplied by Recognition PR)

Joanne Leng, chief executive of NOF, the UK business development organisation for the energy sectors, said: "The energy sector is at a pivotal moment and companies at all levels of the supply chain can contribute to the increasing pace of transition towards low carbon solutions alongside the energy supply issues facing countries around the world. NOF has a key role to play in helping forge relationships and interactions within the energy sector that help influence innovative solutions to mitigate challenges and risk, simplify processes, enhance opportunities, and improve abilities to achieve business and net zero goals.

“The sector needs to be agile, proactive, and adaptive, particularly at a time when a change in government leadership could drive a change of emphasis or pace in the country’s energy policies. The feedback from this meeting with some of industry’s leading figures comes at a critical time in the climate change timetable. It also reinforced the message that the supply chain is fundamental to the success of projects and helping the industry change to meet new demands.

"NOF will continue to work with our strategic partners and wider supply chain to give them a collective voice, to help navigate the changing energy landscape, to steer how we best provide support to members to ensure they capitalise on emerging opportunities in the most effective and efficient manner."


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