Knowlton Project Support

Offshore Wind Supply Chain Opportunities

The Offshore wind market is estimated to be worth more than £100bn over the next 20 years, with significant potential for UK businesses keen to access new opportunities in the wind energy supply chain.

MAS (Manufacturing Advisory Service) has just launched a new service for manufacturers keen to take advantage of this growing sector.

GROW: OFFSHORE WIND aligns manufacturers with qualified commercial opportunities in this sector. The service includes:

  1. Funding – for upfront investment costs
  2. Insight –  market intelligence and visibility for contract opportunities
  3. Expertise – and specialist assistance, and an objective capability assessment of your business
  4. Innovation –  via  access to a national network of technology centres

Register your interest at

For the most up to date research, analysis and thinking covering the opportunities in the Wind energy sector read the ‘Building an Industry’ report published in June 2013 by the Crown estates & Renewable UK.

Download a free copy of this report

Supply Chain Opportunities in the UK

The UK is in fierce competition with the rest of Europe for the jobs that will be created by the offshore wind industry. It is anticipated that there will be a significant increase in installation activity from 2017, with project developers needing to give commitment to suppliers in 2014 and 2015. To meet this demand, many companies will decide where to invest in new facilities and port infrastructure in the next two to three years.

The UK market dominance so far has been during a period when the industry has not needed to invest in new coastal manufacturing facilities, due to the level of demand and manageable logistic constraints. Now, when the step-ups in market demand and technology scale require new facilities and infrastructure, it is even more important that the UK preserves its lead to incentivise the establishment of a strong local supply chain.

Source: Building an Industry Report June 2013

(A joint publication commisioned by RenewableUK and The Crown Estate)

Kent is leading the way

London Array is officially the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm. The commissioning of the 175th and final turbine happened at 16.09 on Saturday, 6 April. Full capacity has now been reached at the 630MW first phase of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the London Array.

London Array is being built around 20km off the coasts of Kent on a 245km2 site. Phase One covers an area of 90km2 and includes 175 turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW. A possible second phase could add enough capacity to bring the total to 870MW.

Source: Locate in Kent

The operations and maintenance base, Ramsgate , Kent

The operations and maintenance base for London Array is at the Port of Ramsgate on the east Kent coast, on a 8,000m2 site. The purpose-built facility accommodates 90 staff and six maintenance vessels . It includes computerised monitoring and control facilities, a workshop, offices and storage facilities. A new pontoon and fuel pumping facility has been built in partnership with Thanet district council.

As well as accommodating the core team of staff, the base will be able to cater for extra resources if any non-routine maintenance becomes necessary.
Skills Centre, Swale in Kent

Swale Skills Centre in Sittingbourne is one of five centres in the UK, and the only one in the south of England, that has been selected to offer apprenticeships in wind energy. The apprenticeship training programme in wind energy covers a 3 year period.  The first 18 months is based at Swale Skills Centre where apprentices are trained to obtain a Knowledge Qualification, Performance Engineering Operations (PEO) and all the relevant Health and Safety qualifications.  The second part of the programme, the Competence Qualification, takes place in the field working alongside qualified technicians to learn the trade as they go. Outside but alongside the apprenticeship programme, Swale Skills Centre also provides a Personal Development Programme to prepare apprentices for the different and often harsh environments they may be expected to work in.  Practical training incorporates team activities which have included forming a rowing team, taking a sports leadership award and developing and running a wind energy road show for primary school children. The programme also includes sessions on how to manage personal finances and how to identify and deal with potential health issues.

East Kent College

The College  has been successful in securing a grant from the Skills Funding Agency and is building a new Centre for Environmental Technologies on the College campus. The new £6.5m centre will be completed 2013/14 and will offer leading edge training to support the growth of low carbon and renewable technologies complimenting activities at Sittingbourne.

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