GLOBAL energy sector chiefs launching a multi-million pound cabling barge on Teesside say more regeneration in the growing wind industry is needed - but the area is “strategically well placed”.
British company Global Marine Energy has invested £28m in Cable Enterprise to help meet the growing demand for offshore windfarms.
The company has also opened a Middlesbrough office at Hudson Quay, and hopes to double its staff numbers to 40. Work to install key equipment including a 4,000-tonne turntable for cables, was carried out on Teesside.
Bosses from the company, which is the largest independent provider of subsea power cable installation and services worldwide, say Teesside's engineering skills, location and port is second to none – but more investment is needed.
Cable Enterprise had its official launch yesterday with Middlesbrough MP Sir Stuart Bell, Mayor of Middlesbrough Ray Mallon and industry leaders.
“We've come to Teesside for a number of reasons,” said Mark Leggett, Global Marine Energy chief executive. “The port facility is very good, but mainly for the skills and expertise that's here in both marine and engineering capabilities. We've also had a lot of support locally.
“There are few places with the capabilities to fit the equipment.
“If you look at the location of the offshore sites, Teesside is strategically very well placed. We need that flexibility to get to the windfarms.
“Teesside is an area that has the right facilities, and the engineering heritage is here – but it needs the regeneration”.
A healthy order book will see Cable Enterprise in work for the next 18 months. The vessel, which is able to operate in shallow waters, will work on both export and inter-connecting cable projects.