Photo: Vattenfall

Vattenfall champions UK offshore wind supply chain rejig

Vattenfall is calling on the UK government and offshore wind industry to make different procurement approaches so more local businesses are able to supply new-generation projects.

In its Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas Offshore Wind Supply Chain: Opportunities and Expectations Workshop Report, Vattenfall aims at bringing more businesses into the offshore wind supply chain to help the industry achieve 60% UK content by 2030.

The report calls for longer-term planning for projects, more transparency and a better understanding across the supply chain of how the sector works, as well as earlier engagement to support businesses to prepare for winning tenders.

Key requirements for the government include a clear framework and plan for the energy transition, encouragement and monitoring of local content, more support for UK companies working overseas, support for and clarity on rules for microbusinesses and SMEs and investment in skills.

The report also asks developers to support and award framework agreements, earlier procurement engagement and decisions, develop standardized codes of practice and share skills needs and HSE requirements across markets.

According to Vattenfall, key issues for businesses wanting to work in the sector include the current project-by-project approach to procurement and construction rather than by portfolio or bundling projects.

The current system means “globally active Tier 1 companies are currently better able to manage the peaks and troughs of this system than more locally-based SMEs.”

To achieve the Sector Deal target, “top down bottom up” commitment and action are needed across the sector and would require developers to engage earlier and better with a collaborative and more joined-up supply chain, the report states.

“Our interaction with the supply chain has demonstrated the collective desire to deliver innovative, efficient, sustainable advances in technology for the next generation of renewable energy generating projects, while also contributing to the goals of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, UK industrial strategy and clean growth,” said Rob Lilly, Vattenfall’s Supply Chain Manager.

The key messages were shaped by more than 580 companies that took part in Vattenfall’s events during the planning for its 3.6 GW Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas offshore wind projects.

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