Industry pipeline potential highlighted at OWC2018 launch

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 25 Apr 2018

GREEN energy sector leader Maf Smith returned to his teenage stomping ground for the Humber’s huge offshore wind conference, and reflected on the amazing transformation seen so far, and opportunity that still remains.

Telling delegates how it is the fourth largest infrastructure pipeline in the UK, he embraced the significant strides the region has made, and the position it has taken, with Siemens Gamesa’s blade factory and Grimsby’s prolific position leading in operations and maintenance.

Mr Smith, deputy chief executive of Renewable UK, said: “It is great to be in Hull. I’m a Barton boy, and when I was 11 the Humber Bridge opened, and since I was allowed to get on the bus myself, that was me in Hull, being a teenager then enjoying the nightlife.

“It is always good to come back, and it is one of those weird twists of fate that I get to with the offshore wind sector. Seeing the Humber region leading, really pioneering a lot of work, getting ahead, a lot of companies working here and a huge number of projects here, it is fantastic.

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“The issue for us all is the huge opportunity for us all. Offshore wind is powering ahead, there is so much going on. When you look at infrastructure pipelines, offshore wind is the fourth largest. The amount of investment going in and the opportunity for us is huge.

“We are winning work seeing the benefit, you can see that here.”

More than 200 guests arrived at Double Tree by Hilton Hull for Offshore Wind Connections 2018, the Team Humber Marine Alliance annual bash that has grown in stature every year.

Siemens’ arrival in Hull was announced on the day of the conference back in 2014, and now blades are spinning on Race Bank, Orsted’s latest completion.

Mark O’Reilly, chairman and chief executive of THMA, said: “It is great to welcome everyone here. We had a couple of years on the South Bank, in Scunthorpe, we’ve been up in Bridlington for the last three years, so it was prime time and the right time to hold an event in Hull.

“Tomorrow is going to be really interesting, with lots of good speakers, some interesting talks, looking to the future and blasts from the past. There will the technical and the inspirational too.”

MORE: Our guide to Offshore Wind Connections 2018

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