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More offshore wind farms work pledged for Scottish firms

Ministers held a summit in Edinburgh, where delegates heard urgent action is needed to hit the UK Government’s 60% content targets by 2030.

Scottish companies have missed out on some large offshore wind contracts (Michal Wachucik/PA)
Scottish companies have missed out on some large offshore wind contracts (Michal Wachucik/PA)

Moves to help ensure more work for offshore wind farms goes to Scottish companies have been agreed at a summit in Edinburgh.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay and Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse held the summit at St Andrew’s House, where industry representatives agreed collective action is needed to ensure the supply chain in Scotland benefits from upcoming projects.

Developers and supply chain companies were asked to consider taking urgent action to achieve the 60% content targets the UK Government’s offshore wind sector deal wants to hit by 2030.

The Scottish Government pledged to look at options for attaching supply chain conditions and incentives to Crown Estate seabed leases.

It will also look at the way the Scottish Parliament reviews and approves decommissioning plans.

I am determined that we will use every lever at our disposal to ensure that our renewables supply chain benefits from the expansion of offshore wind in Scottish waters Finance Secretary Derek Mackay

Industry representatives will assess UK-wide fabrication capability to identify areas with highest growth potential.

Speaking after the summit, Mr Mackay said: “Scotland has all the natural resources to make it an ideal location for offshore wind but recent projects have failed to deliver significant economic opportunities for Scottish businesses.

“I will continue to champion the strengths, and potential, of our indigenous supply chain.

“But now it is time for the offshore sector to do more by awarding contracts to our supply chain.

“I acknowledge that the supply chain must work hard to seek opportunities – making strategic investments and considering appropriate collaborations when tendering for contracts.”

He added: “I am determined that we will use every lever at our disposal to ensure that our renewables supply chain benefits from the expansion of offshore wind in Scottish waters.”

In a joint statement, GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith and Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Actions speak louder than words but we leave this summit confident that the Scottish Government shares our determination to make sure we get our share of the renewables manufacturing bonanza and that they will take all necessary measures within their powers to do this.

“We told the UK Government that immediate and sustained investment from their offshore wind deal holds the key to infrastructure improvements that can help make the Scottish supply chain a global player – the ball is now very much in their court if they credibly want to realise their aims for this sector.

“For the industry majors that have carved up the jobs and value from our billion pound offshore wind market, there will be a realisation that the days of giving Scotland scraps from our own table are at an end because the status quo is not acceptable and our campaign for work and prosperity is not going away.”

Offshore Wind Industry Council chairman Benj Sykes said the sector would continue to work closely with all governments to ensure the country reaps the benefits of offshore winds in jobs and investment.

He added: “The industry is working together to establish a new Offshore Wind Growth Partnership of up to £100 million which will help UK supply chain companies to compete for multi-billion pound business opportunities in this thriving sector.”

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