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Study will help open up offshore wind opportunities for Scottish firms

By Calum MacLeod

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SOWEC supply chain and clusters lead Stephen Thomson.
SOWEC supply chain and clusters lead Stephen Thomson.

A new report to help Scottish SMEs win business in the global offshore wind market has been commissioned by the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council.

Its Supply Chain and Clusters group is working with BVG Associates on the study to help businesses which want to win work do so by reviewing how contracts are awarded in other sectors.

Analysts will investigate best-practice in offshore wind as well as the oil and gas, aerospace and automotive industries and others to provide a blueprint for supply chain companies to get involved in the sector, which is to expand from 1GW today to more than 8GW by 2030.

Stephen Thompson, supply chain and clusters lead for the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC), said: “Recognising that pre-qualification, accreditation and contractual terms can be a significant barrier to entry and success for many companies, BVG Associates will look at best practice in other sectors and at how to achieve standardised processes, as well as how to increase opportunities for Scottish companies to succeed more widely.

“The results of this work will enable SOWEC to drive forward changes to the supply chain process and give confidence to the industry and supply chain.”

The report, which is expected to be delivered by March 2021, will also explore the opportunity for greater collaboration throughout the supply chain.

Although focussed on Scotland, the study will also look at the wider UK and international markets for export opportunities.

Funding for the study was previously announced by Crown Estate Scotland in September.

Colin Palmer of Crown Estate Scotland.
Colin Palmer of Crown Estate Scotland.

Colin Palmer, director of marine at Crown Estate Scotland, said: "This exercise is an important step to achieving a strengthened supply chain in Scottish offshore wind projects.

“It will look at a number of areas including the Scottish content baseline and the opportunities and barriers for supply chain participation in offshore wind from many perspectives. We are very much looking forward to the results of this work and, in particular, how it can support Supply Chain Development for ScotWind.”

BVG Associates has already begun fieldwork for the project, and will be contacting businesses in the supply chain and beyond in the first few months of 2021.

Director Neil Douglas said: “We are delighted to be delivering this project on behalf of SOWEC.

“We understand how important this work is to the goals of the SOWEC Supply Chain and Clusters working group and to wider government and industry stakeholders and agendas.

“The work is entirely aligned with our purpose and passion to grow the offshore wind industry and we look forward to engaging with industry as it is delivered.”

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