Major offshore wind conference blows into the Humber today

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 3 May 2017

OFFSHORE Wind Connections is just hours away.

The Humber's biggest conference covering the economic opportunity that has put energy into our estuary gets underway this evening, with a special reception hosted by leading trade body RenewableUK.

Chief executive Hugh McNeal, pictured right, who in a previous role played a major part in the Whitehall team that helped land Siemens in Hull, will speak to hundreds of delegates ahead of the Team Humber Marine Alliance conference proper, which starts tomorrow. This evening he will also be joined by Mayor of City of New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA Jon F Mitchell, fresh from signing a Memorandum of Agreement over a sister city status with Grimsby.

He is part of a strong US delegation, joined by international visitors from Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden.

Tomorrow, Dong Energy, Triton Knoll and Siemens Gamesa will all grace the stage at Bridlington Spa - overlooking the one-time world-leading Westermost Rough offshore wind farm - as well as Humber LEP chairman Lord Haskins and several supply chain operators, including CWind, with panel discussions and question and answer opportunities. 

The event will help shape and inform companies' attitudes and intentions in the supply chain. 

Mark O'Reilly, THMA’s chief executive and chairman, said OWC17 would highlight the Humber’s pre-eminent position in the green energy revolution in the UK and Europe while also looking at global prospects for the region’s manufacturers and providers of specialist skills.

“The conference will be devoted to delivering business intelligence and we look forward to welcoming wind farm developers, owners, industry trade bodies and companies along the length of the offshore wind supply chain,” he said.


Here's how it will shape up: 

TODAY (Weds, May 3):

6pm: Conference opening and networking reception - RenewableUK Connect event in co-operation with Team Humber Marine Alliance. Come along and meet senior industry leaders and representatives from the Humber as well as national and international delegates. This is an informal evening providing a great opportunity to network, meet old friends and develop new profitable relationships. This event is free to attend for RenewableUK/THMA members and partners as well as OWC2017 delegates.

6.45pm: Hugh McNeal, chief executive of leading industry trade body RenewableUK and Mark O'Reilly, chief executive and chairman of Team Humber Marine Alliance.

7pm: Welcome to Humber & East Riding from Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

7.15pm: Special address from Jon F Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA.

TOMORROW (Thurs, May 4):

8am: Registration - Welcome breakfast and networking.

9:15am: Conference welcome by Blair Jacobs

9:20am: Mark O'Reilly opens the conference

9:40am: Lord Haskins, chairman of Humber Local Enterprise Partnership

10am: Hugh McNeal


11am: Scott Urquart, head of finance, Dong Energy's Race Bank offshore wind farm

11:20am: James Cotter, project director, Triton Knoll offshore wind farm

11.40am: Bruce Clements, business development manager, CWind

Noon: Q&A Panel

12.30pm: Lunch and networking

1.30pm: Ray Thompson, head of business development, Siemens Gamesa

1.50pm: Guest Panel: "International Markets & Opportunities" - chaired by Dr Tom Harries of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who will five an update and welcome:  

  • Karl John, offshore wind specialist, Department for International Trade (UK)
  • Chuck Decuir, executive director, NovaVis Supply Chain Tech (USA)
  • Chris Garrett, senior offshore wind engineer, DNV GL (International)
  • Paul Vigeant, managing director of New Bedford Wind Energy Center, Massachusetts (USA)
  • Gustavo Ferraz de Luna, project manager, (Denmark)
  • Jimmy Thyregod Kristensen, board member of World Marine Offshore (Denmark)

2.20pm: Dr Giles Davidson, University of Hull - Project Aura

2.45pm: Guest Panel - "Offshore Wind Subsea developments" - chaired by Neil Gordon, chief executive of SubseaUK, who will welcome:

  • Alex Gauntt, business development manager, SIEM Offshore Contractors
  • Iain Middleton, commercial manager, Ecosse Subsea Systems Ltd
  • Andy Readyhough, senior business development manager, DeepOcean
  • Scott McMillan, operations and maintenance director, James Fisher Marine Services Ltd

3.30pm: Conference close

Ticket applications close as the event starts at 6pm. To book on visit

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