A 200-strong delegation from the East of England’s energy industry headed to Westminster to reinforce to politicians the region’s importance to the sector and the UK economy.
The East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) previewed its case to government for an Offshore Wind Sector Deal for the cluster in the region across industry, education and research and development. It also promoted its aspiration for the east to be recognised as a centre of excellence in shallow water late life and decommissioning.
The event at the House of Commons had been organised at the invitation of Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney and Chairman of the British Offshore Oil and Gas Industry All-Party Parliamentary Group.
Chris Claydon, Chief Executive of the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), also spoke about how the skills shortages in the industry should be addressed.
Claire Perry, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), also took part in addressing delegates.
This annual event is run for energy developers, operators and the supply chain businesses working in the oil & gas, offshore wind and nuclear industries to meet representatives from political parties, MPs, ministers and government departments such as BEIS, Treasury, Defra and other relevant bodies.
Simon Gray, Chief Executive of EEEGR, said the region was seeing projects across oil and gas, offshore wind and nuclear moving ahead.
Swedish energy group Vattenfall has announced its intention to locate its operations base for the Norfolk Vanguard and Boreas projects at Great Yarmouth port.
There has also been an agreement for a new operations and maintenance base at Harwich port for the Galloper wind farm, and the Crown Estate announced approvals for a number of extensions on existing wind farms in the region, including Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon, Great Gabbard and Galloper.
ScottishPower Renewables project, East Anglia ONE, is now actively in construction, East Anglia THREE was recently granted consent by the Planning Inspectorate and proposals for the remaining projects are still in development.
EEEGR’s work with the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in the rejuvenation of the Southern North Sea is starting to produce a number of tangible rewards with reports and learning papers in a number of subject areas, including tight gas and well salting, decommissioning best practice and gas to wire technology.
Mr Gray said: “The contribution of the East of England’s energy industry can never be underestimated. All the major energy sources are here – oil & gas, offshore wind and nuclear. Our region is leading the way in the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy.”