New group targets opportunities in energy scheme supply chains

Top of a Galloper turbine. Picture: Alan O'Neil

Top of a Galloper turbine. Picture: Alan O'Neil - Credit: Archant

A new group has been formed in north Essex to take advantage of business opportunities in the growing energy sector in the east.

The North Essex Energy Group (NEEG) is made up of energy sector public and private businesses working together to explore benefits and opportunities.

The group’s first public event was held on Wednesday November 28, at Colchester United FCs’s JobServe Community Stadium, with the intention of bringing key partners together, accelerating growth in the sector, discovering more about major infrastructure projects and creating new networking and business prospects.

Speakers were Chris Squires, EDF strategic procurement manager who spoke about Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C and Bradwell B nuclear power stations and the supply chain networks for the construction works, Malcolm Barnett, O&M implementation manager for Galloper Wind Farm on the project development and its operations & maintenance base in Harwich International Port which has recently started construction, and Maxine Narburgh, regional hub manager for Greater South East Energy Hub who spoke about the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Local Energy Strategy.

Councillor Tim Young from Colchester Borough Council said: “The energy industry is a key sector for North Essex, providing excellent economic growth potential, jobs and opportunities for companies across the region. I am absolutely delighted that NEEG is working to develop a future of sustainable and low-carbon energy in our region. I am wholly supportive of their work thus far and look forward to future updates.”

A number of stakeholders are collaborating to ensure maximum impact of the NEEG’s work, including local government bodies Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council, Essex County Council and Maldon District Council, in addition to a number of private sector organisations.

Zoe Fairley, Tendring District Council cabinet member, said working together was the way forward to attract investment.

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“North Essex is well-placed to support and grow the energy industry in the UK, as we have seen with Galloper’s £10million investment in Harwich. NEEG is working to make sure we have a role in developing this industry in the decades to come.”

Robert Edge from Invest Essex added: “It was great to see the amount of networking which took place between different local businesses as well as with our guest speakers from EDF and Galloper.

“It shows there is real interest from business in north Essex in working together with the public and educational sectors to ensure we can maximise opportunities for local business in future energy developments.”