Orsted expects the global offshore wind market to grow 15% annually ©Orsted
Orsted expects the global offshore wind market to grow 15% annually ©Orsted

Orsted boosts UK supply base for world's largest wind farm

16 November 2018

Orsted is working closely with top tier suppliers to help them develop a strong UK offshore wind supply chain.

With both the domestic and global offshore wind industry growing, the Denmark-based energy firm is looking to grow its supply base in the UK to ensure it has the capacity to meet future demand.

The firm recently held a supplier day near Sheffield for around 500 potential UK suppliers. The day was an opportunity for businesses to meet key strategic partners for Hornsea Project Two, which when complete in 2022 will be the world’s largest wind farm.

Speaking to SM, Pete Clusky, supply chain development manager for Hornsea Project Two, said the aim of the event was to help expand the UK supply base.

“We’re really focused on delivering more value through local suppliers. But [we] also have a longer term objective, not only for this project but our pipeline of future projects, growing the competitive base of UK suppliers that can deliver this additional capacity of offshore wind that is coming,” he said.

“My role is to work with our tier ones and also directly with lower tier companies to try and make sure more and more UK companies can take advantage of that opportunity.”

Offshore wind in the UK has matured to the point where Orsted now has a constant flow of projects for the next decade, and Clusky wants UK manufacturing suppliers to see offshore wind as a solid domestic market, complementing more export led markets including aerospace and automotive.

Clusky added the global offshore wind market was expected to grow 15% annually, “so there’s a real driver for us to find capacity”.

To help develop its supply base, Clusky works closely with his procurement counterparts at strategic suppliers including Siemens, Balfour Beatty and VolkerInfra to help them increase the level of local content in their supply chains. “Part of it is around working with them so they share our objective of growing the amount of UK content,” he said.

“Generally speaking it’s a positive dialogue from the start. We include this issue when we go out to tender for our contracts, we assess on people’s local content and willingness to develop the industry and supply chain in the UK.”

Supplier days, like the recent one in Sheffield, also have a track record of helping find suppliers with something to offer who may not have bid for work in the sector before.

At Orsted the local supply base is considered at a strategic level and across projects, said Clusky. “We have a teams of people looking at different [contracting] packages, at how we will to deliver this additional capacity and deliver local content in the future,” he said.

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