PD Ports has continued to demonstrate its commitment to the alternative energy market by sponsoring the autumn meeting of RenewableUK Connect, which was held on 1st and 2nd September at Hartlepool College.
The quarterly meeting, and the first to be hosted in the North East, was attended by over 170 delegates involved, or interested, in the sector, with an evening networking event and half day seminar.
PD Ports, which owns the ports of Teesport and Hartlepool, is a founding member of Chain Reaction, the group working to build a cluster of excellence in the renewables energy field in the area. The group, with strong local government support, continues to work on a combined and coordinated campaign to attract companies in the renewable energy sector to Teesside and the North-East.
The event focused on the topic of skills and training for the offshore wind sector with expected jobs growth of 500% over the coming decade. Experts are predicting thousands of direct jobs for the region, thanks in part to the close proximity to the Dogger Bank wind farm in the North Sea. However it is recognised that there’s a skills shortage in engineering so key players are working together to ensure resources are available to meet the demands of this well paid, skilled sector.
“PD Ports has significant development land, Tees Valley has the transport links, and the people of the Tees Valley have the engineering skills to work with the new technologies which will be used to produce everything needed for offshore wind farms,” explains Paul Barker, PD Ports Development Director, bulks, ports and logistics.
“The event has been a chance to bring wider awareness of the potential for Hartlepool to be the UK centre for this growing industry. It was also an excellent opportunity to showcase the new facilities at Hartlepool College, who are leading the way in training young people with the skills they will need for future careers in the offshore wind sector.”
The Port of Hartlepool is already building a reputation as a centre of wind energy expertise on its 50ha site. The port hosts JDR Cable Systems, a leading cable manufacturer for renewable energy projects, and Heerema Fabrication Group, which specialises in the engineering and fabrication of large and complex structures, mainly for the offshore oil & gas and energy industry.