This year started with worrying news about the UK’s industrial capability. In January alone, the proposed closure of the Grangemouth refinery hit the headlines again and at Port Talbot’s steelworks around 3,000 people are set to lose their jobs.
Complex reasons lie behind these decisions including commercial considerations and actions aimed at reducing carbon emissions. They have a massive impact on local communities in the UK’s industrial hubs as well as impacting an already fragile supply chain. Decisions like these suggest efforts to sustain our industrial capabilities and deliver a homegrown energy transition to a low carbon economy could be managed better.
As part of the North Sea Transition Deal agreed between our industry and the government to deliver net zero, we made a commitment to sustain high skilled jobs, attract investment and bring new energy businesses to develop local regions.
Share Fair, which takes place at Aberdeen’s P&J Live on March 20 has a key role to play in achieving this goal. Supported by the North Sea Transition Authority, this event is where supply chain companies come to hear operators and major contractors share detailed information about the pipeline of confirmed energy projects that require their expertise, goods and services.
Our existing supply chain ranging from small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with niche capabilities to major contractors delivering integrated services is world renowned for its innovation and ability to solve complex challenges.
Over five decades, these businesses have underpinned North Sea activity ranging from oil and gas exploration deep below the seabed to building immense platforms, extensive offshore pipelines and constructing subsea infrastructure.
Retaining this amazing asset, its workforce and associated expertise is crucial to delivering a UK-built net zero economy, enabling us to tackle the energy trilemma of security of supply, affordability and delivering on our climate goals.
For the next few decades, our sector will continue to need the cashflow from a stable and predictable oil and gas business for these companies to invest in new opportunities like floating offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. Many of our members are active in these emerging sectors and Share Fair provides the ideal opportunity for suppliers to gain early sight of the anticipated activity ahead and meet with key decision-makers procuring goods and services. Providing greater visibility of upcoming business opportunities can help grow the confidence of our supply chain companies, enabling them to grow capacity, invest in additional skills and develop new technologies.
For operators and major contractors, it’s a great opportunity to broaden their understanding of the pioneering products and specialised services offered by suppliers across the UK. Ensuring they have this knowledge helps drive the supply chain-led innovation we need for a successful energy transition.
The list of leading operators and major contractors contributing to Share Fair continues to grow as they confirm speaking slots at this flagship business development event. They will be presenting their forward plans for work across the energy sector ranging from oil and gas, offshore wind, hydrogen and geothermal to carbon capture and storage, and we are ensuring a collaborative mindset is at the heart of the event.
Companies including bp, Equinor, Spirit Energy, CNOOC, Wood, Technip FMC, Well Safe Solutions, Storegga, Inch Cape Offshore, Ithaca Energy, NEO Energy, Petrogas and Ceraphi Energy have committed to sharing invaluable market intelligence regarding their supply chain opportunities. We look forward to additional companies joining the roster of presenters over the coming weeks.
There are many ways to engage in business conversations. These include presentations from operators, developers and contractors on future confirmed activity and opportunities to book one-to one meetings with key procurement decision-makers. There will be extensive opportunities for participants to network and for suppliers to promote their business by taking an exhibition stand.
The Supply Chain Transformation Roadmap published in our 2023 Harnessing the Potential report highlighted the potential for jobs, economic growth, and innovation for the UK offshore energy supply chain. Getting this right in what we see as a ‘decade of delivery’ could create an additional £10bn of cumulative value from more UK ‘built and delivered’ projects. We could more than treble offshore wind capacity to 50 GW, produce 10 GW of low carbon hydrogen and develop four offshore transport and storage hubs with up to 1mn tonnes/ of carbon stored per year. Delivering the Roadmap’s goal by 2030 would enable our supply chain to accelerate the changes required to realise the UK’s climate ambition. These are amazing opportunities which can only happen if we work together to make them happen.
Delegates attending Share Fair last year highlighted the ‘real feel of transition and innovation and a great place to be for the supply chain’, others described it as ‘a very informative day with great insight into the operators’ plans and excellent discussions’ while others appreciated hearing about the ‘exciting prospects coming up.’
We look forward to seeing you there and further information is available on our Share Fair website: https://oeuksharefair.co.uk/
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