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UK offshore wind industry Supply Chain Review is launched at FT factory in Sunbury

13 April 2018

FT Technologies' factory in Sunbury-on-Thames hosted the launch of the UK offshore wind industry's Supply Chain Review led by former McLaren Group CEO. 

  • A key aim of the offshore wind industry’s vision for 2030 is to foster a world-leading supply chain
  • Martin Whitmarsh, former McLaren Group CEO, will conduct a Supply Chain Review to create a clear Supply Chain Development Plan for the industry
  • The plan will set out how the industry can: 
    • Deliver £2.6bn in annual exports by 2030 (from £0.5bn today)
    • Support up to 27,000 high quality, well-paid jobs across the country

The UK Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) has launched a full review of the UK supply chain as part of its vision for 2030 which was announced last month.

The review, which will deliver a Supply Chain Development Plan, will be led by independent expert Martin Whitmarsh, former McLaren Group CEO and Formula One Team Principal, who visited FT Technologies in Sunbury to formally launch the review. He will work with supply chain companies to encourage existing suppliers to increase their capability in the offshore wind sector and to introduce the significant business opportunities to new enterprises.

He will be supported by a team of industry experts: Claire Canning from ORE Catapult, Kasper Sørensen from MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, Thomas Ellson from innogy and Victoria Sinclair from ScottishPower Renewables.

Speaking at FT Technologies’ factory in Surrey, Whitmarsh said: “It really is an honour to be leading this review and I want the UK’s offshore wind supply chain to be in pole position in this increasingly competitive global market. Increasing supply chain productivity will directly lead to lower costs and enable UK companies to seize new opportunities across the globe.

“Another key part of the review is looking at how SMEs can join this growing industry, making sure they understand what industry needs and routes into the sector. I’m looking forward to working alongside the industry experts and engaging with suppliers at all levels of the value chain, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to produce a clear plan, with tangible recommendations to achieve the ambitious targets the OWIC has set for the industry.”

Benj Sykes, Co-Chair of OWIC and UK country manager for Ørsted, said: “Martin brings extensive experience in the automotive industry and has proven results in improving supply chain productivity, so we’re really glad to have him on board. Improving productivity across the supply chain will have positive knock-on effects throughout the UK, reducing the cost of offshore wind even further, benefitting domestic and industrial consumers, and helping to support other industries as companies across the value chain become more competitive.

“Of course, the big prize is in the export market. Our ambition is to grow the export value of offshore wind goods and services five-fold by 2030, by which time half of the revenue for UK suppliers in the sector could come from exports. This is a lucrative opportunity that UK companies want to be involved in.”

Fred Squire, Director of Sales and Marketing at FT Technologies said:“As the leading supplier of ultrasonic wind sensors to the offshore wind industry, we are proud to support this initiative by showcasing the potential for other British companies to increase revenue from this growing sector. Over the last 10 years we have seen a huge growth in our sales to offshore wind and 98% of our production is exported. In this increasingly competitive marketplace, we will continue to invest heavily in our technology to deliver better longevity and reliability to our customers.”

The outcome of the review will be a Supply Chain Development Plan for the industry, with deliverable opportunities and suggestions on how the UK can increase productivity and value at every stage of the offshore wind supply chain. The review is expected to be completed in Q3 2018.

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