Foster highlights offshore energy opportunities


Energy Minister Arlene Foster has delivered a welcome speech at an Offshore Energy Supply Chain Event, organized by Invest NI and The Crown Estate. During her speech, the Minister, pictured at the event with Invest NI Chair Mark Ennis and the Crown Estate’s Head of External Relations (Policy & Planning) Dermot Grimson (right), urged businesses here to take advantage of the commercial opportunities available in the offshore renewable energy sector.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has encouraged local companies to grasp the opportunities offered by the offshore renewable energy sector.

The Minister was speaking at an event organised by Invest Northern Ireland and The Crown Estate which briefed over 300 business people on developments in the offshore renewable energy sector and the commercial opportunities available in renewable energy markets.

The Minister said: “Offshore energy is a growing market and opportunities in the Irish Sea region alone are currently valued in excess of £17billion for areas under licence from The Crown Estate. This is set to increase when licences for installation of wind and tidal technologies in Northern Ireland waters are announced later this year.

“This offers an excellent opportunity for Northern Ireland in many areas – energy security and diversity; climate change mitigation; a contribution to our 2020 renewable electricity targets and the business supply chain opportunities for local companies over the next few years as projects come on stream and Northern Ireland becomes an attractive base for international renewable energy companies.

“The business opportunities are numerous, ranging from precision engineering, design services and environmental surveys to maintenance, accommodation, transport, crew and labour requirements.

“I would encourage businesses to explore opportunities in the supply chain either on their own or in collaboration with others.”

Attendees at the event, held in Titanic Belfast, had the opportunity to network and do business with procurement and project managers from major offshore wind and tidal turbine manufacturers and their Tier 1 suppliers.

Dermot Grimson, Head of External relations, Marine Policy and Planning at The Crown Estate, said: "We at The Crown Estate are delighted to be working closely with DETI to help realise the potential of offshore energy in Northern Ireland waters. This event highlighted the significant number of local businesses who are looking for and taking up the commercial opportunities available in the sector. This interest and commitment is tremendously encouraging and would result a ‘win-win’ for both the industry and Northern Ireland."