Danish-British Partnership Crucial to Offshore Wind Sector

The British ambassador in Denmark, Vivien Life, opened the international B2B event OWIB 2014 in Esbjerg on september 4. Over the years, offshore wind has evolved into a strong market, and this does not apply only in Denmark, but also in the UK, where a long-term strategy and unequivocal political backing have helped to make the country the world’s largest offshore wind market.

An attractive investment environment and the British Government’s ambitious goals in terms of developing offshore wind capacity will ensure growth for many years to come. This will provide excellent opportunities for Danish investors but British based suppliers need to have a bigger role in the supply chain strategies developed by those investors.

This was stated by the British ambassador in Denmark, Vivien Life when she inaugurated the international B2B event for the offshore sector, OWIB 2014, Wednesday in Esbjerg.

200 representatives of the Danish and international offshore wind sector met one another at OWIB 2014 to exchange experiences and enter into partnerships through brief, informal meetings. The British market is of special interest as Danish consultants, operators, wind turbine manufacturers and suppliers are involved in nine out of ten offshore wind projects in British waters.

More assignments on the horizon 

The ambassador assured the Danish guests that there will be opportunities also in future to bid for offshore wind projects and as part of that process to develop supply chain strategies which will help the sector to grow in both the UK and Denmark and from there to penetrate markets globally.

”One of the major challenges is simply knowing more about investors and the UK government and what they’re looking for and how companies can contribute to the pipeline of projects in the future. I do see OWIB 2014 as a key event for this process,” said Ambassador Vivien Life before the opening of OWIB 2014.

”We believe close co-operation between Danish and UK organisations can assist in creating partnerships that may help ensure contracts across the North Sea and in the future take these services further towards new markets,” she added.

Invitation to Danish companies 

The ambassador mentioned the world’s largest offshore wind project, the London Array, which was constructed by DONG Energy, and Siemens Wind Power’s € 160 million investment in production facilities in the UK as some of the projects where Danish involvement has been significant. And Vivien Life encouraged more Danish companies to follow the example.

However, not only Danish and British companies were represented at OWIB 2014. Companies came also from, for instance, Norway, Germany and France to meet future partners in the effort to strengthen international collaboration in the sector.

“A lot of business cards changed hands and hundreds of business meetings were held during OWIB 2014 as part of the process of winning a share of the money that is invested in the UK and in the rest of Europe. It’s important to many companies to nurture their networks and constantly correct their course according to where demand is to be found,” says CEO Morten Basse Jensen, Offshoreenergy.dk, the organisation responsible for OWIB 2014.

On Thursday September 4, OWIB 2014 featured a conference revolving around the five greatest challenges faced by the offshore wind sector.

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Press release, September 19, 2014; Image: Offshoreenergy.dk