British Ports call for stronger UK Content rules to deliver Prime Minister’s offshore wind vision

Responding to this morning’s speech by the Prime Minister during the Conservative Party’s online annual conference, the British Ports Association has called for enforced UK Content rules for offshore wind development to help realise the wider benefits.

The British Ports Association’s Chairman and Chief Executive of Port of Blyth, Martin Lawlor said;

“We are pleased to see the Prime Minister recognise the opportunities for offshore wind. The UK has a huge marine and offshore wind resource. The aim to generate 30% of the UK’s electricity under the Offshore Wind Sector Deal is welcome and ports are keen to play a central role.

However the UK needs to focus further on delivering more UK content in new wind farm developments. Unless this becomes more mandatory, the UK may well lead the world in offshore wind development but sadly the benefits will continue to be enjoyed largely by our European neighbours and countries further afield.

If we grasp this issue now we can attract more activity to the ports and regions of the UK. This is not just about providing facilities for the mobilisation of wind turbines but for wider renewables supply chain and manufacturing activities which provide long term sustainable jobs.”

The Government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal includes an aspiration to increase UK content to 60% by 2030 covering everything from planning, manufacture, mobilisation, installation and skills development in the delivery of projects. To date key elements of this supply chain (particularly manufacturing) are largely undertaken in Europe.

Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, which represents all the UK’s main energy ports, including the country’s renewables hubs said;

The UK ports provide the basis for offshore wind assembly, mobilisation, operation, and maintenance but there also possibilities for a greater role in the construction, manufacturing, engineering and training activities.

The British Ports Association has today written the BEIS, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary, Alok Sharma MP, outlining the aspirations and the UK’s ports sector is looking forward to helping the government deliver on its vision.