Oct 16, 2018
Humber is key partner in Southern North Sea ‘Innovative Energy Garden’ plans

The Humber is to play a key role in developing the Southern North Sea’s potential as a world leader in offshore renewables and its role as a ‘living field lab’.

Team Humber Marine Alliance, which represents more than 250 companies and organisations in the offshore supply chain, has joined a consortium of Southern North Sea regions with the ultimate aim of creating more business, investment and employment through collaboration and innovation.

It will sign a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on October 23 in the Netherlands with Amsterdam Ymuiden Offshore Ports, East of England Energy Group and North Sea Energy Gateway Den Helder. The cooperation will be branded under the name ‘Southern North Sea Energy Alliance (SNSEA)’

The four members have strong links through their geography and their established work in the offshore energy sector, and the MOU will make official the combining of their marketing forces for mutual interest.

Mark O’Reilly, Team Humber Marine Alliance chief executive, said that the opportunities for Humber companies were immense. “The Southern North Sea is hugely significant in terms of existing and planned offshore wind farms, but we are also saying it could become the innovative ‘energy garden’ or ‘living field lab’ of Western Europe due to a high concentration of oil and gas assets which will be decommissioned or abandoned over the next decade along with the great potential for carbon capture and storage, wave & tidal, energy transmission & storage and other emerging technologies.”

He said that the MOU was a culmination of months of work in which the parties had agreed a strategy to ensure that their respective regions benefited from the massive potential of the Southern North Sea – which is bordered by the Humber, East Anglia and the Netherlands.

“Over the last few months we have been pressing the point to companies based in the Humber that the opportunities in offshore renewables is much greater than the work we are seeing on our doorstep. By joining forces, the regions of the four partners in SNSEA have the opportunity to become part of the major energy offshore energy hub for Western Europe and grow as a world leader in offshore and marine energy innovation.”

He added that each of the four partners neighboured the Southern North Sea and represented the offshore energy economic ecosystem in their region, with members and stakeholders being commercial and non-profit companies in the supply chain, educational institutions, research institutes and organisations, such as AURA Innovation Centre in the Humber, and governmental bodies.

“Over the next decade, offshore energy in the Southern North Sea will grow fast and this collaboration has the prime purpose of creating new opportunities and prosperity for the members of each organisation,” he said.

  • The signing will be held at the RAI Amsterdam on October 23 during the Offshore Energy 2018 Exhibition and Conference. The signing ceremony can be attended by everyone who is interested and will start at 12.00 PM in the Amtrium 1 Lounge.

About the MOU

The MOU will provide a framework to pursue closer working relations on promoting the Southern North Sea regions as an offshore and marine energy hub and to foster joint projects between the parties and their members and stakeholders. The four parties are seeking opportunities for collaboration and joint marketing with the purpose of promoting formal and informal cooperation between their members and stakeholders to bring more business, investment and employment as well as sharing knowledge, innovation and competencies.

About the Southern North Sea – an asset for sustainable economic prosperity

  • Energy generation in and around the Southern North Sea will increase dramatically and be a great source of economic investment, innovation, business establishment and employment
  • As existing gas reserves become exhausted there will be a gradual reduction in exploration activity
  • Legacy wells will be plugged and offshore platforms and pipelines will be abandoned and decommissioned or potentially reused for other purposes such as the manufacture of hydrogen or accommodation platforms for use by offshore wind farms.
  • Offshore wind farms will be developed, installed, constructed and maintained. The demand for skilled employees in maintenance and operations will be huge
  • System integration between offshore and marine/ocean renewables and conventional offshore energy will be applied and offers opportunities
  • The North Sea – and especially the southern part – could be developed as the innovative ‘Energy Garden’ of Western Europe to function as a living field lab for energy integration of the oil & gas industry (including late life & decommissioning), carbon capture & storage, emerging gas to wire and power to gas technologies, wave & tidal, energy transmission and storage and hydrogen.
  • Smart flight connections across the Southern North Sea could increase and optimise transport and logistics of cargo, goods and personnel and can be very beneficial for the regions involved and the established companies.