Port plays host to major conference

The Port of Blyth hosted a major innovation conference looking at the future of offshore wind projects.
The Port of Blyth hosted a major innovation conference looking at the future of offshore wind projects.

An international conference looking at the future of offshore wind projects took place at the Port of Blyth.

Renewable energy firm Equinor organised the event at the Port Training Centre facility, in partnership with NOF Energy and the ORE Catapult.

It engaged with more than 70 businesses from the UK renewables supply chain in an effort to identify innovative solutions to maximise project value and begin the journey towards ‘human-free’ operations and maintenance in offshore wind.

Blyth was seen as the ideal location for the conference due to ORE Catapult being based there, the port being considered one of the UK’s leading offshore energy support bases, and due to the businesses based there already.

Martin Lawlor, chief executive at Port of Blyth, said: “Hosting Equinor’s Innovation Day for offshore renewable energy highlights how far the Port of Blyth and the Energy Central offering in Blyth, that includes the ORE Catapult, has come in the last few years.

“To have such a high profile event take place here is testament to the significant cluster of offshore energy related businesses we’ve built here.”

Joanne Leng MBE, deputy chief executive of NOF Energy and deputy chairman of Energi Coast, said: “Working with Equinor, we have seen how keen the developer is to maximise on the depth of UK supply chain innovation, which made the event at Port of Blyth very successful.

“I hope it will be a catalyst for the creation of new technologies and solutions.”

She added: “As the UK industry gets close to achieving a Sector Deal for offshore wind, approaches such as this from Equinor could form an exemplar of how developers can achieve early engagement and collaboration with innovative, technology-led companies.

“The technical expertise and experience that exists within the supply chain is a resource that the global offshore wind industry should tap into, not just for immediate solutions, but also for the development of future technology that can improve O&M operations.”