Trade unions, offshore wind developers and supply chain companies have agreed to take urgent action to ensure more Scottish companies benefit from the awarding of contracts for offshore wind projects.
At a summit held by Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay and energy minister Paul Wheelhouse, the industry representatives agreed that collective action was needed to ensure that supply chain companies are well positioned to benefit from upcoming offshore wind projects.
The industry has been asked to consider urgent action for achieving ambitious local content targets as part of the UK government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal. As a result of the summit, the Scottish government has promised to explore how the Scottish parliament reviews and approves decommissioning plans. In addition, representatives from the offshore wind sector committed to undertaking a strategic capability assessment of fabrication in the UK, and to identify the areas with the highest potential for growth.
Speaking after the summit, Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay said: “Scotland has all the natural resources to make it an ideal location for offshore wind, but recent projects have failed to deliver significant economic opportunities for Scottish businesses. I will continue to champion the strengths, and potential, of our indigenous supply chain. But now it is time for the offshore sector to do more by awarding contracts to our supply chain.
“I acknowledge that the supply chain must work hard to seek opportunities – making strategic investments and considering appropriate collaborations when tendering for contracts. The environmental benefits of our renewable sector are clear, but we must also ensure that we maximise the economic benefits that this sector can deliver for communities across Scotland.”
Benj Sykes, chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Ørsted UK country manager for offshore, said: “The offshore wind industry will continue to work closely with the Scottish government, and indeed all governments, to ensure communities up and down the country reap the economic benefits offshore wind offers - creating thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs and attracting billions of pounds in investment, especially in coastal areas.”
Delegates will meet again later this year to review progress.