Fife had a tremendous week at the Renewable UK exhibition in Glasgow last week with three announcements that give credence to Fife’s aim to become the centre for excellence in renewable energy in Scotland.
Fife based Burntisland Fabrications Ltd (BiFab) announced a £12m contract to build two offshore substations for the RWE npower. Tyneside marine firm Shepherd Offshore secured the mothballed Hyundai plant in Dunfermline to create a renewables manufacturing facility. And First Minister Alex Salmond pledged £70m for Scotland’s ports to ensure Scotland's place at the forefront of the global offshore wind industry, in which Fife will play a major role.
Robin Presswood, Development Manager (Business & Strategy) with Fife Council commented; “Last week was the culmination of a lot of hard work by the Council and other organisations in Fife which has resulted in significant good news for Fife, both for safeguarding jobs and future development. The exhibition was one of the busiest I have seen. It had a real sense of excitement about it, particularly on the Fife group stand. This was a great opportunity to develop relationships further with those who will be shaping the industry for years to come.”
Over 6,000 delegates attended the three day event. Invest in Fife Renewables were exhibiting on the Fife group stand, as part of Fife Council’s Market Development Programme, along with four key players in Fife’s renewable sector; Oceaneering Multiflex, BiFab, Carnegie College and SMRU Ltd.
John Robertson, BiFab Managing Director said; “The Renewable UK Exhibition has proved to be a great few days for Fife as we continue to grow from strength to strength. It’s important that we keep raising the profile as, after five to six years of promoting the potential of Fife, it’s the next two to three years that will clinch some of the best deals.”
The UK's first Modern Apprenticeship scheme for the renewables industry delivered by Fife’s Carnegie College was officially launched by the First Minister. Siemens, REpower and Weir Group have pioneered the recruitment of apprentices on the three-year engineering qualification.
Jim Brown, Head of the Whitlock Energy Collaboration Centre, Carnegie College, said; “Carnegie College is proud to partner Fife Council in this vitally important strategic industry. Despite the general doom and gloom surrounding the current economic climate there was a real buzz of optimism surrounding the whole event and it is clear that there are real opportunities for both the college and the region to capitalise on.”
Jane Banks, Commercial Manager with SMRU Ltd, marine environmental consultants, who were part of the Fife group stand said; “Attending the exhibition was a great way to get a good picture of developments in the renewable energy sector in the UK and beyond. As this exciting sector grows, we hope that the contacts we made will lead to new opportunities for our business to capitalise on Scottish academic expertise for the benefit of industry.”
Invest in Fife Renewables made contact with many companies involved in the renewables sector, promoting Fife as a great location for investment with the Energy Park Fife being located within 60 nautical miles of three of the Scottish Territorial Waters wind farms and the Firth of Forth Round 3 zone. The team launched Fife’s Operations and Maintenance proposition with a detailed brochure illustrating the port facilities and sites available to companies planning to take advantage of this growth opportunity.