Floating Offshore Wind
We were delighted to visit SBM in Marseille recently to have a look at the impressive work they have been doing in Floating Offshore wind and to see where we think CASC can add value to this very exciting new market. We made the trip alongside friends and colleagues from other local businesses as part of an Invest NI lead group of companies, many of whom are already working in Offshore Renewable energy like ourselves, but need to do a bit of homework in Floating wind.
SBM have been well established in floating structures in other markets for many years, and from what we saw in Marseille, are already making huge steps forward with breathtaking, colossal pieces of engineering. I can still remember the excitement when I first visited an Offshore pre assembly site back in 2010, and how in awe I was at the shear scale of the components. This brought all those feelings back again. The main components here are simply magnificent and monstrous in equal measure and are yet another example of human ingenuity!
SBM certainly have big plans and our focus was quickly narrowed to their North Channel Wind project which, all being well, will be placed in the Irish Sea. This very impressive project is hoping to produce 1.42GW of power into the grid in what would be Northern Ireland’s largest renewable energy generator. If you don’t know anything about the project I would encourage you to visit their website at www.northchannelwind.com
Excited yet? We certainly are – the trip was fantastic for us, helping us understand the scale, learning a little bit more about the processes and ultimately helping us to see where we can currently add value or identify new areas to diversify into. It was great to find out that we already have services and products that fit seamlessly into this new market and we have a couple of new ideas that we will be developing over the next few months – more to share there soon!
There is a lot of chat right now about offshore wind coming back to Northern Ireland, and in particular how big a role Belfast can play in the whole Island of Ireland projects due to its fantastic port and infrastructure setup. This is a tremendous opportunity and one that we should grasp with both hands. It will require an entrepreneurial approach that encourages collaboration between companies, alongside academia where we can build enthusiasm in the next generation about how they too can forge a lifelong career in this really exciting industry. As we look forward to the next 5 or 10 years we are determined not to miss this chance to showcase what we have been doing all across the globe in offshore renewables, back on our door step!
Well done to Invest NI for organising such a great trip and thanks to SBM for having us! Floating wind – very exciting! Marseille Old Town – beautiful. French food and wine – special!