A LOCAL engineering alliance has been awarded around £100,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to accelerate plans to deliver major floating offshore wind contracts and large-scale energy projects.
Norn combines the expertise of four leading engineering Shetland-based firms – Malakoff, Ocean Kinetics, LEF and Voar Energy.
Together, the four companies have many decades of energy experience as well as fabrication at sites across Shetland and in Orkney, Peterhead and Aberdeen.
With more than 300 staff in total, HIE said the Norn companies provide the scale required for floating offshore wind (FOW) component assemblies and other major engineering work.
The HIE funding is going towards a £203,000 project which will support Norn to develop organisational structures and grow the business.
It is expected to lead to the creation of seven high quality FTE jobs over the next three years.
It comes as two offshore wind farms to the east of Shetland are proposed through Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing process.
The developer of one of those wind farms, ESB, recently signed an agreement with Lerwick Port Authority.
The total combined capacity of the two floating offshore wind projects to the east of Shetland would be 2.8GW.
The two ScotWind projects alone have committed to spend over £2 billion on Scottish supply chain services, which has the potential to deliver significant economic benefit.
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By leveraging the companies’ collective engineering expertise and resources, Norn aims to provide the necessary scale and capability to support delivery of large and complex energy projects, capturing more economic benefit for the islands.
Andrew Gear, head of business growth at HIE, said: “These companies are important local employers who have played a key role in delivering many of the largest energy projects in Shetland in recent years.
“We’re pleased to see the collaboration between them and to be able to provide support for the Norn’s growth, accelerating the company’s ability to create new jobs with a sustainable business model.
“There is significant economic opportunity for Shetland over the coming decade in the energy sector and FOW offers a massive long-term opportunity for the islands.
“Due to the sheer scale of FOW, we need collaborative approaches, like Norn’s, if Shetland is to achieve the scale required to support the delivery of offshore wind and capture more of the economic benefit on island.
Ahead of a visit by the Norn team to the Floating Offshore Conference in Aberdeen on 25 September, chair Neil Manson said: “Located at the heart of proposed offshore development sites and home to deep-water harbours and an exceptionally well-experienced supply chain, Shetland is the ideal gateway for unlocking immense clean energy potential.
“Norn’s strength lies in unrivalled engineering expertise, unique knowledge of Northern Isles supply chain networks and deep experience of project delivery.
“We are now working hard to secure contracts in floating offshore wind and the wider green energy sector, to create more jobs and increased economic activity for Shetland and our other locations in the north of Scotland.”
Meanwhile earlier this week the Shetland Net Zero forum launched its new website.
The forum has 24 members, including the four companies involved in Norn.
The aim of the group is to represent and champion Shetland’s energy sector to become a “world-leader” in the transition to net zero – whilst maximising the economic and community benefits for Shetland.
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