East Anglia: Wind turbine company Areva seeking suppliers

FIRMS in East Anglia are being urged to carve out offshore wind energy business in Germany to put them in a leading position to win the next round of UK contracts.

French-owned offshore wind turbine manufacturer Areva is set to meet this region’s companies at an event in Lowestoft later this month, and is inviting potential suppliers to the wind industry in East Anglia to get in touch.

“We are keen to develop our position in the UK market,” said Julian Brown, Areva’s head of wind in the UK.

“The UK long term is the biggest market by far, but it is not all happening in the next five minutes, it is happening over a period of time. We encourage companies and come and get to know us and meet us.”

However, Mr Brown said there were opportunities for regional companies in Germany immediately. “If UK suppliers are competitive then there is business they can do now,” he added. “They should come and explore the opportunities. They should get involved in the industry now and not wait for it to happen in the UK.”

Areva’s meet-the-buyer event takes place at OrbisEnergy on October 23 and has been organised by the East of England Energy Group.

James Gray, inward investment director at EEEGR, said: “Areva is a world leader in this industry and they have recognised that our local businesses have a lot of experience to bring to the table.”

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Areva already has a UK team based in Edinburgh and is looking to build a UK factory. East Anglia has been identified as a potential service base for offshore wind farms in the North Sea.