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Energy / No government talks with offshore wind developer over supply chain

An illustration of a floating turbine. Image: Cerulean Winds

THE SCOTTISH Government says it has held no discussions with the developer behind plans for a floating wind farm west of Shetland about its supply chain.

It comes after United Arab Emirates based company Lamprell entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last month with American service provider NOV to support the delivery of developer Cerulean Winds’ plans.

This would involve using Lamprell for the fabrication, assembly and outfitting parts to be used as floating foundations.

This led to concern that work would be lost to overseas – with the GMB union describing it as “sickening”.

Cerulean Winds has proposed to build 200 offshore turbines west of Shetland and in the central North Sea, each with a generating capacity of between 14 to 15 MW.

A key focus of the £10bn project – which would not connect to the national grid – would be to power oil platforms using wind energy, assisting the industry towards its goals of becoming net zero in the next couple of decades.

A hydrogen plant at Sullom Voe in Shetland has also been mooted.

In a parliamentary question, Labour MSP Katy Clark asked what discussions the government has had with both Cerulean Winds and NOV regarding “fair work and supporting domestic supply chains”.

But cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport Michael Matheson said in response that the government has not held any discussions with either party as they do not have consented developments under construction.

“It is therefore premature to discuss contracts for projects which do not yet exist,” he said.

“Developers will be required to submit a Supply Chain Development Statement with bids for the Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas decarbonisation (INTOG) leasing rounds when it opens this year.

“Similarly to ScotWind, developers will need to outline the supply chain activity they commit to undertaking within Scotland, the UK and overseas.”

Speaking to Shetland News last month, Cerulean Winds’ Dan Jackson said the MoU will lead to investment in fabrication capacity in Scotland.

Cerulean Winds hopes to be awarded exclusivity rights to develop the wind farms under the Scottish Government’s INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas) process.

This is a new offshore wind leasing round for small scale, innovative offshore wind projects of less than 100MW, as well as larger projects connected to oil and gas infrastructure to provide electricity and reduce their carbon emissions.

“Our basin-wide scheme for decarbonising oil and gas assets through offshore floating wind, which is going through the INTOG process, requires significant fabrication capacity and expertise,” Jackson previously said.

“We are pleased this capacity is currently being developed with substantial financial investment and Scottish government support in Scotland.”