Blog: Mark Lawless - Belgium offshore wind supply chain mission, a sea of opportunity
Last week I was lucky enough to join the Department for International Trade’s (DiT) Offshore Wind Supply Chain Mission to Belgium. Through a series of presentations and one-to-one meetings the Mission provided an opportunity to gain insight from Belgian stakeholders into supply chain strategy, procurement process, project timelines and collaboration opportunities. A limited number of the UK delegates, which included JBA Consulting, were also invited to provide elevator pitches on the products and services that they could bring to the Belgium offshore wind sector. The focus of our presentation was our metocean risk management services, delivered through ForeCoast® Marine.
Belgium offshore wind market
It is a pivotal time for the Belgium offshore wind market with developers Parkwind, InControl and Otary recently reaching an agreement with Belgian government ministers over the subsidy framework for the three remaining offshore wind projects. This agreement clears the way for the procurement and construction of Mermaid, Seastar and NorthWester2 offshore wind projects. The projects will have a total capacity of 770MW and should be operational by 2020.
The Belgium supply chain is strong and full of industry heavyweights such as DEME Group, DEME/GeoSea, Elia, InControl, Jan De Nul, Parkwind, Otary and Smulders. So, before the event I was a little apprehensive, would this be a closed shop? But I was very pleasantly surprised. The overwhelming message coming from the event was that the Belgium offshore wind market is open for collaboration. Belgium is a progressive country and offshore wind is a progressive industry, driven by innovation and cooperation. Belgium companies want to work with British companies in Belgium, in the UK and globally, and events such as this are invaluable in helping to initiate and foster these relationships. Thank you DiT Belgium and congratulations on a superb event!
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