2,00O jobs target is set

Alex Dawson (left) and George Rafferty (right) launch Energi Coast
Alex Dawson (left) and George Rafferty (right) launch Energi Coast

A BAND of North-East businesses – including a series of major Hartlepool companies – today launched a battle to attract nearly 2,000 new jobs.

Able UK, JDR Cables, Heerema Hartlepool and Tata Steel have joined an alliance of 19 firms.

Billingham firm TAG Energy Solutions is also part of the new organisation, called Energi Coast.

Every one of them is a leading North-East energy sector firm and their joint aim is to secure a proportion of the £1bn global market in renewable energy.

Between them, they have already invested almost £400m to help realise the region’s ambition.

Energi Coast, which has been brought together by the business support organisation NOF Energy, will promote the wide-ranging capabilities of the region.

Chairman Alex Dawson, who is also chief executive of TAG Energy Solutions, said: “North-East England has the potential to become a global hub for the offshore renewables industry.

“It is a unique region in terms of geography, experience, infrastructure and technical capabilities.

“North-East England’s innovative and successful integrated supply chain is technologically-driven and has excellent credentials for delivering large scale projects across the energy sectors.”

Energi Coast companies currently have a combined turnover of more than £200m. This figure is forecast to double as the offshore renewables market expands.

The group’s members currently employ around 6,000 people, but that is expected to grow by 30 per cent as activities to attract business from Round 3 of the offshore wind development programme gathers pace.

North-East England is a key strategic location for the offshore renewables sector.

Hartlepool has been chosen to be part of the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone with the port area earmarked as a specific site for renewable energy.

Mr Dawson added: “Having already substantially invested in offshore renewables, the region’s supply chain has signalled its intentions to be a serious player in the global market.”

George Rafferty, chief executive of NOF Energy, said: “The region is home to a collection of extremely innovative and successful companies that have blazed a trail for the North-East supply chain in the oil and gas sector and are already expanding their expertise into offshore renewables.

“As green energy resources become an established part of the required balanced energy mix, North-East England companies have the capabilities to secure a significant proportion of the market, both domestically and globally.”

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