10th Jun 2020

Group COO, Ian Cobban comments on today's Scotwind news

Global Energy Group are focussed on supporting Energy Transition and have a proven track record in the delivery of various renewable projects, Group COO, Ian Cobban shares his thoughts on today's Scotwind announcement.

"The announcement today is excellent news for Scotland and the Cromarty Firth. Global Energy Group has a successful track record in the delivery of offshore renewables projects within Nigg Energy Park and the Port of Nigg, having worked on Beatrice for Siemens/SSE and now working for DEME/EDPR for Moray East. Our skilled workforce are well established in many areas of the work required and are used to working in partnership to deliver the needs of our Clients. They have fully “transitioned” from Oil & Gas working practices to offshore wind requirements. We believe 15 of the total of 17 offshore windfarm leases are within a workable distance of the Cromarty Firth, so this is an exciting and welcome business opportunity for many of our Group of Companies and the wider supply chain.

One of the challenges of Scotwind will be to increase local content. Developers will submit supply chain plans and provide evidence of how they will fulfil them. Many of the Scotwind projects might deploy new floating wind technology, whereby Scotland already has two floating wind pre-commercial projects, Hywind and Kincardine. The Scottish supply chain might be in a better position to respond to the demands of floating wind projects, compared to fixed turbines positioned offshore, because of the legacy of technologies developed for oil & gas. The oil & gas and offshore wind industry is now working closely together to ensure that the technology needed for the Energy Transition is developed in a coordinated way.

The Port of Nigg and wider Cromarty Firth has the infrastructure to attract many companies to the area to help build these new wind farms, but in Scotland and the wider UK, more investment is required to ensure that we are competitive. The Scotwind projects will not start being built until the mid 2020’s at the earliest, but in the meantime, the local supply chain has a chance to cut its teeth on pilot projects for Hydrogen production and assist the decarbonisation of oil & gas production through the electrification of offshore production platforms. Both of these technologies can be fed by power produced by offshore wind. These early projects will be essential to ensure that the local supply chain has the right structure in place on time and attracts significant investment. This will be required for establishing a world class local competitive supply chain and develop new talent and skills for a sustainable future in our communities.

Post Covid-19, the Green Recovery which is being widely discussed will help drive this transformation. We will now spend time looking at the detail and do everything we can to secure work in ScotWind.”