As part of the Build Back Greener plan, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced the government's increased commitment to offshore wind in October 2020.

Corporate & energy partner Gareth Baker chaired a panel discussion looking at the current and future developments in the UK Offshore Wind industry.

In this webinar, the panel provides thoughts on what can be expected (and is needed) for the UK supply chain to capitalise on the significant sector opportunity ahead.


Rasmus Traberg: Excellent I think we are ready to go. Sorry for the slow start and the little delay but we are ready to get going now.

Good morning everyone and welcome and thank you very much for joining us here today. My name is Rasmus Traberg and I cover the energy sector here at the Danish Embassy in London. For the past eight years I have been organising this conference here and the purpose is of course that we bring together the Danish and the UK supply chain to talk about both the opportunities from the challenges that are in the UK offshore wind markets. It would be a real shame if we were to break this streak since we have organised this event eight years in a row but not only because obviously it is a shame to break a streak but also because this is a unique situation. So never has there been such a significant market opportunity and never has there been so much political good will but also never so many - I think one of the microphones is probably not muted – [great] ... but also besides the market opportunity there has never been so many interesting challenges for the industry to address.

So over the next one and a half hours, we will hear both the speakers address their challenges and opportunities. Before we dive straight in to address the programme I would also like just to say thank you on behalf of the DKUK Association at the Danish Embassy but also a big thank you ... [interruption - could everyone just check that their microphones are muted. Great.] ... As I said also a big thank you to also Associated British Ports and to Gowling WLG for supporting today's conference. In terms of organising this event we are also really pleased to have the support from the British Embassy in Copenhagen, the British Chamber of Commerce as well as Energy Cluster Denmark.

Now as most of you would agree Denmark and the UK already enjoy an excellent trading relationship and we also share so many of the same values, not at least in connection with today's topic, our concern for climate change as well as our drive to develop green pollutions and green energy for the future. In the coming days and weeks, all eyes will be on Britain as it enters a new relationship with Europe and on that note I am delighted to have Emma Hopkins with us, the newly appointed British Ambassador to Denmark, here to open today's conference. Emma over to you.

Emma Hopkins: Well good morning. I hope people will still hear me I'm having some difficulties this morning. Just to let you know if there are any problems with the sound but if you can hear me, then it is an absolute pleasure to be here this morning to speak to such a large and diverse audience with interest in the offshore wind set up. So thank you for tuning in today and for the Danish UK Association and the Danish Embassy for inviting me to participate and my team here at the Embassy.

Of course the climate crisis has been with us all for a long time and our response to it has been compounded this year especially by the global Coronavirus pandemic and the impact that that will have on the global economy for many years to come.

Today like many other countries, the UK is facing some critical choices on how we help our economy to recover from COVID 19 and not undermine progress that has been made on the climate agenda. So recently the UK Government has made some important political and policy announcements that have underlined the UK's strong commitment to building back in a green way but I would like to spend just a few minutes highlighting.

A few weeks ago firstly Prime Minister Boris Johnson set his 10 point plan which I hope you will have seen for a UK green industrial revolution which will allow the UK to forge ahead eradicating its contribution to climate change by 2050. It covers clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies and the blue print was also creating support up to 250,000 jobs.

It is also significant because it steps up the UK's leadership on climate change ahead of us co-hosting climate ambition summit on 12 December and also COP 26 in Glasgow towards the end of next year and this is number 1 of the 10 point plan is the commitment to produce enough offshore wind to power every home quadrupling how much we produce to 40 Gigawatts by 2030 and that is really front and centre to the overall strategy.

I think later this morning you will hear from my colleague from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Dr Sarah Redwood and shew ill set out some more detail on how the UK intends to re-align that aspirations on that target. But the 10 point plan also follows from another statement from Prime Minister Johnson pledging in October to deliver a greener, fairer and more resilient economy and offshore wind will be an integral part of that making sure we maximum the benefits of our road to net zero.

I just want to say a few words about the climate ambition summit which we take place in two days' time virtually alongside our partners from both the UN, France, Italy and Chile and the purpose of that summit is really I suppose to press the international community to come forward with ambitious and new national announcements showcasing the steps that they have taken to combat climate change in 2020 and it is having a clear focus on commitments to adaptation, to nationally determined contribution and crucially green finance. It is also intended to be a way point to COP26 next year and intended to prompt countries to consider how the economic recoveries can be green.

The UK has always been clear that five years on from the Paris agreement we need to see drastic steps if we are going to meet the climate challenge that poses to us all whilst we are meeting our global energy needs and for the UK, this very much includes levelling up both private and public investments across the economy with significant weight given to further developing offshore wind footprint. Something that both the UK and Denmark have a shared interest in developing.

We have committed £5.8 billion in international climate finance between 2016 and 2021 and just last Friday the Prime Minister confirmed that the UK's national determined contribution will be a 68% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade compared to 1990 level, but we are also delighted that Denmark are also leading the way and now an announcement last week that they would end boiler gas extraction in the North Sea would also be a significant contribution encouraging others to be ambitious also.

The path to net zero is one that involves active participation from national businesses around the globe and the UK are trying to grab others in that endeavour and we really hope that COP26 will be a very important moment to crystallise those commitments. In our own region, constructing and expanding a grid system that will allow for businesses to scale up the offshore wind industry is one example of that kind of cross border collaboration and at the moment you will all know from the news that we are in the final stages of our negotiations with the EU about what the shape of our future relationship will be and one outcome from the UK's departure from the EU maybe the loss of its seat on the North Sea energy corporation which would be regrettable if the cooperation between the UK and those countries is clearly in everyone's interest.

However whatever the eventual outcome it is clear that the UK wants to have a strong voice on the North Sea market as well as the developments of infrastructure required for efficient use of energy generated by all nations offshore wind sectors and it is crucial from a UK perspective that we are included in that work. We are keen to find ways to re-establish active cooperation with other countries and the commission and there are constructive discussions under way on this as part of the EU UK negotiations on our future partnership.

If we are not part of a North Sea Alliance we are looking to initiate bilateral discussions with Denmark and our two countries have shared objectives in Offshore wind with the future connection of giant projects on both sides of the water being a really live issue at the moment and this will be a key priority both for myself and all the team here at the Embassy across 2021.

A precondition to growth and prosperity is for businesses to operate in a free and open market and that is why trade between the UK and Denmark and the EU is of huge importance to both sides. Regardless of the outcome of our current negotiations we know that we will continue to be very close allies and we very much value the contribution that Danish businesses are making here in the UK in this sector.

We also need energy and overseas investments to play a crucial role in providing it both directly but also in mushrooming up the nation's supply chain that are still being shaped across the UK today and to support our foreign investors last month we launched a new office for investment which sits both under our Department for Trade and our Department for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy and the purpose of that office is really to align with key Government priorities and offers support to those who want to continue to invest in the UK in different sectors and offshore wind is a key one.

So just to end then I hope that I have conveyed I think what is a strong political, commercial and environmental objectives that the UK Government has set out to grow the offshore wind industry in the UK and although we are currently grappling with some uncertainty in different quarters over the future I do not think there is any uncertainty about the level of ambition and the forward momentum that exists in the UK today on offshore wind. So I wish you a productive and interesting morning and I look forward to having the opportunity in non-COVID times to meet many of you and understanding how we can work together in pursuit of some of these shared objectives. Thank you very much.

Rasmus: Emma, thank you so much for your introduction. It is really encouraging to hear all the commitments that are to not only combating climate change but also to ensuring that this excellent trading relationship we had been the UK continues. So thank you very much for your time today. As eluded to we are now handing over to our next speaker, Sarah Redwood who is the director for renewable energy deployment at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and Sarah will, as the ambassador just mentioned, take a closer look at what is actually coming up in terms of markets for offshore wind in the years to come. Sarah thank you for joining us.

Sarah Redwood: Brilliant. Thank you all and it is a real honour to be here. I will repeat a few of the things that Emma said about the Prime Minister's announcements mainly because they are so exciting and I really think they do frame the markets and the future that we are setting out here.

To reiterate the UK Government is really committed to achieving decarbonisation across the economy which will be necessary to meet our net zero obligations and offshore wind really has a pivotal role to play in this which is why it is number 1 of the Prime Minister's 10 point plan for economic growth that was announced at the start of this month and it was offshore wind turbines on the front page and featured throughout.

By 2030, we plan to have a world leading offshore wind industry with the affinity o power every home in the UK and to do that we have increased our target for offshore wind power from 30 Gigawatts to 40 Gigawatts by 2030 and that target includes a one Gigawatt target for floating offshore winds which we hope will pave the way for commercial scales deployment in 2030 and beyond. We saw yesterday in the report from the Committee on Climate Change on carbon budget sets the important role of offshore wind may set out some of the ranges that would be needed for offshore wind citing between 65 and 125 Gigawatts by 2050 so that is an enormous expansion of what we see today.

What does that mean in practice? Well really is a sort of three Gigawatts of new wind capacity per year and we power existing sites when they come to the end of their lifetime so a real potential for a really big exciting market here. What this actually mean for the pipeline, how do we break it down, what does it really mean for what it has. We have got approximately 10 Gigawatts of offshore wind capacity already in place with another 9½ Gigawatts in various stages of construction and and at the end of 2019 we have 40 operational offshore wind farms with around 2,200 turbines. The capacity of the offshore wind turbines is getting ever larger.

I am constantly hearing about the figure and more exciting context but to read 40 Gigawatts we think it would require between £1,500 and £2,000 turbines to be installed between now and 2030 which is huge. Our overall pipeline continues to grow and there are a number of significant projects in the planning process already and the Crown Estates round four and Crown Estates Scotland leasing progress could produce around 18 Gigawatts of new projects but we will know the number with more certainty next year after the bidding.

And Crown Estate have just now started undertaking market engagements to really test out the enterprise of floating winds sea bed rights. We know that there is a lot of interest in building floating wind in the UK as you would expect as we have such a big offshore wind market and rich deep water resource and we are really confident that that will respond positively into this ambitions and expect to see more projects to be ready later in the decade.

It really opens up new areas of the sea and deeper water further from the shore and it is likely that we will need more offshore winds to meet net zero and that we will really need floating as the fixed bottom sites are progressively used up. And our aim is really to stimulate development now so that we can see the costs come down and build up the supply chain for meeting these ambitions.

To help for the ambitious 40 Gigawatt target we will seek to deliver up to the several the electricity generation capacity in the next allocation round compared to the one that we saw previously and the next round is due to open in late 2021. These auctions have been very successful incentivising investment while realising the best value for money for the electricity consumer and we have seen the clearing prices come down two thirds since the first auction in 2015 for offshore winds so from a clearing price of around 115 Megawatt hours in 2015 to around 40 Megawatt hours in 2019. We recently published a response to our consultation on the design of the next round of the contract for different auction including the offshore winds will have its own pot and that floating offshore will be treated as a separate technology to fix bottom with its own administration strike price and we have also made some changes to make sure that the auction functions more smoothly and it is easier for participants and will be publishing more details on the auction closer to the time.

We really hope that by setting these ambitious targets and setting out the ambition for the capacity at the next round of the auction but we can help provide them just for certainty over the scale of the market that is needed to develop this ambitious pipeline. We think that adding another 30 Gigawatts above what is already operational. The cost about £50 billion of extra private sector investment so this huge opportunity is here. Recent experience suggests that offshore wind farms which generate lower electricity than the low cost electricity for the long term only attracted investment prospects and we can really see significant interest in new sea bed leasing around the UK.

But we know that there are challenges to delivering 40 Gigawatt target and that is working really purposively across Government and with industry and with many of those that are represented here today to tackle the barriers and ensure that we have a healthy pipeline. So I just wanted to get a couple of examples that we are working on. One of these is on radar, where we are working with our Ministry of Defence and with the Offshore Wind industry Council to rally look at practical mere term and long term endurance solutions. They are preventing defence radar interference and it is not just an innovation competition to look at the next generation surveillance and mitigation solutions.

We are also looking at the potential environmental barriers to deployment and we are working with our Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with a joint programme to look at enabling actions and we are also working with Tan Estates and Tan Estates Scotland to really build the evidence base to understand what is happening and what are some of the concrete actions that we can take to place like looking at things like marine noise uses big data and help to achieve net gains and offshore wind deployment rather than simply preventing environmental problems and we are also working with Ofgem, our regulator to look at the transmission costs and to ensure that future connections to Offshore wind are delivered in the most appropriate to finding the balance between environmental, social and economic governance and that review will aim to publish next year.

The following area that I want to talk about is UK context and rally how we can maximise the economic benefits from the huge market that we are creating to help support the UK economy and the same should apply to any such development whether a civil engineering, the delivery of renewable energy or other forms of low carbon generation like nuclear.

We are working with the industry including many Danish companies represented here today through the offshore wind sector deal to support the target of having 60% UK contents by 2030, and we are developing a new of measures to help support that. So £760 million into modern integrated port side offshore wind infrastructure here in the UK which will also help provide high quality employment in the coastal regions.

I understand that is one of the biggest barriers to having manufacturing facilities in the UK as companies have been expressing here, and we have heard from industry about how important it is that we do this correctly so we are doing it really fast and we have already learnt the competitive process to select the first integrated manufacturing port hub. We hope that these facilities will increase the competitiveness of the UK offshore wind sector and supply chains enabling the UK to work with contacts that will be needed to deliver our industrial ambitions and to also compete keenly for other opportunities.

We also consulted on our proposals to strengthen the contract for difference mechanism and look at our supply chain plan policy so through this we will really make it clear the importance of having UK contents and there will be a consequence for non-delivery for sure but developers really do deliver on their commitments so that the UK can reap the benefits of the market that we are creating and the significant investments that we are making into our industry.

So to conclude and wrap up, my four main points are that we creating really ambitious market for offshore winds in the UK here with perfect supported Gigawatts by 2030. We are aiming to deliver several the ambition of renewable but the next allocation round of the contract for different auction which will run in late 2021, and we are really taking serious actions to tackle various to deployment and make it as easy as possible to do business here in the UK and to build those windfarms, to working collaboratively across Government and with industry and stakeholders.

And finally, we really want to see the economic benefits of this ever expanding market and we want to increase the competiveness of the UK offshore wind sector and supply chains so that the UK is seen as a great place to come and do business and help contribute an access that huge market and opportunities. Thank you very much. I'll finish now.

Rasmus: Thank you Sarah, great to hear about all the possibilities they have for collaboration, I wonder do you have a moment for two questions from the chat? So I have put them together and the first question is probably related to the Committee on Climate Change doing the modelling for reaching net zero and whether there is any projections on how many turbines are actually needed to reach net zero in the scenario and the other question is quite interesting as we are talking a lot about increasing deployment then the other question goes along whether there are any plans for decommissioning as well, so two questions.

Sarah: Thank you very much and both really good questions. I have to admit we have not done the detailed modelling yet of how many wind turbines would be needed to meet the net zero targets as set out by the Committee on Climate Change and some of our ones.

A lot of this is really dependent on the exact role of offshore winds within that and we take a fairly sort of technology, we do not have specific technology targets at 2015 on that and it will also obviously depend on innovation, research and development and how the capacity of the windfarms change and the turbines improve and we are seeing efficiencies everyday on that so I think that is very exciting.

The other question about decommissioning is really good one and it is something that really, really important and that is one of the conditions of when we are doing the planning consent to ensure that sufficient focus has been put on decommissioning. I think there is a case of how we are actually making sure we have got plans for decommissioning and also plans for sort of, before that trying to repower some of the flights that may come to the end of their natural life as well.

So if we could try and pick up some of the other ones or....

Rasmus: We probably have time for one more. I can see that there is actually one that probably eludes to your background. The question looking at the horizon and EU funding for collaboration in terms of research and innovation but it is up to you if you would like to take a pick.

Sarah: OK well look on that one it is obviously very dependent on what is happening with the future relationship of the EU. I used to work on this policy so I am deeply passionate about it and the role of innovation and R&V and the offshore wind sector is something that I am very, very keen to see.

I will pick up on the other one from Pete around the consultation on this process policy. We have already got a consultation out already about the process and we expect to consult very shortly on what questionnaire will actually be doing. So what sort of questions will we be asking the developers to do and in looking at local content, we are really thinking both about the Capex and the Opex and how we can support the industry as a whole as having 60% UK content by 2030.

Rasmus: Great. I think we will have to move on to the next speaker but thank you so much for joining us Sarah and thank you for taking the questions as well.

Sarah: Thank you. It is a pleasure to be here.

Rasmus: So the next session is put in because it is an interesting discussion but also it will allow me to run out and get a cup of coffee because I am handing over the moderator role to Gareth from Gowling WLG in a second. If I should just introduce this session I would say that it is fair to say that the offshore wind sector in the UK is a success story as we just hear from Sarah. The UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world and costs of offshore wind has fallen much more over the past ten years than anyone could probably have imagined.

There is also a flourishing ability to create larger projects and also to deliver these offshore wind projects to more dependable timescales as well. It is also creating well paid jobs around the country and creating skilled jobs. But if we look to the future and that is where the panel here will come with its view, then what is actually needed in terms of the offshore wind industry and the supply chain in our ports when we are going towards that 40 by 30. So I am really pleased to hand over to Gareth now from International office of Gowling WLG who will introduce the session and also the panellists. Gareth, over to you.

Gareth Baker: Thank you very much Rasmus and good morning everyone. Thank you very much for having us along today. So Rasmus has done a very good job of introducing the objectives of this session. I will say a little bit about the people and the structure.

First of all, I am a partner at the law firm Gowling WLG. I co-lead our global energy sector group. We do an awful lot of work across that sector including in off-shore wind and I hope my Danish friends will forgive me for quoting a Norwegian example which is that we recently advised Statkraft on their PPA on the Seagreen transaction which is a very substantial offshore windfarm in the UK.

We are going to talk today and develop a little bit more thinking around the implementation of how we reach this objective of many more Gigawatts in our seas. But the industry has done fantastically well already and even if we did not not any more, there are fantastic supply chain opportunities around O&M. But there is a huge next step to be done as well and that will require a lot of work and a lot of opportunity for the supply chain which is great news.

The structure of session is that we are going to have three speakers who we are going to introduce now and they will then present for a short period in their running order. And then we are going to have, and we would really like to have a good and interactive Q&A session following these presentations. So please do as you have been doing so far, add your questions to the chat function and I will do my very best to pick them specifically in themes and to put them to our high calibre panellists today.

So, the running order is first of all we are going to hear from Sanjanaa Achar who is from Equinor. The title of her presentation is "Building a North Sea broad energy hub" and then we are going to be followed by Mary Thoroughgood who is from MHI Vestas and she is going to talk about growing the UK supply chain and then we are going to conclude with Andy [Ray] from Associated British Ports whose presentation is titled "Serving the UK's offshore wind industry".

So without further ado, I propose Sanjiana, to mute, and let you kick off.

Sanjanaa Achar: Thanks everyone for attending and thank for Gareth and Rasmus for introducing and giving me the opportunity to present to you. I suppose what I will be really taking you through as you know, the idea of what a North Sea energy hub is and ultimately how do we get to that 40 by 30. I don't think I have control over the presentation so, if you could go to the next slide please, that would be great.

So just to give you a bit of an introduction of who we are really. We in Equinor are really a supply energy company with our origins in Norway. We have over 21,000 employees working in oil, gas, wind and solar in over 30 countries. And we have been a part of the North Sea for over five decades now and we are the biggest oil and gas operator in the sea.

Developing our resources in oil and gas allowed us to get a lot of offshore experience and also technology and operating here has given us the insight and knowledge that we are transferring to offshore wind right now. We have a very clear strategy for this our strategic direction is to develop a broad energy company and become a leader in offshore wind and to be that leader we are implementing something called 'value driven strategy' and we are establishing regional clusters to get there. These clusters, really North Sea is one of those with the UK as a heavy weight, the Baltic Sea is closer to us.

I suppose beyond these clusters, we are also pursuing opportunities across Europe and regions such as Asia and the Americas. And here right clear target, we want to increase renewable capacity about 30 times what it is today and get between 12 to 16 Gigawatts of net capacity by 2035 and we think the North Sea will be a very key contributor to getting to these ambitions. So that first and foremost the way want to do this is to maximise our value of our offshore wind app. So our currently held portfolio of something like 750 Megawatts of operational assets in the UK with Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal in the east coast of England, Hywind Scotland which is off the coast of Peterhead in Scotland. We are also building the world's largest offshore wind farm at the UK Dogger Bank with SSE which is 2.6 Gigawatts when it is due start up in 2023 and we are proposing to double the capacity of Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal.

Finally outside of the UK we have the world's first floating wind power to power offshore gas which is due to start up in 2022. Really we are trying to drive continuous improvements, standardise and really benefit from these deals and synergies in both operations and projects. We are also expanding our portfolio in the North Sea countries in the UK and beyond and help the North Sea countries to achieve the climate action and we really want to use the North Sea to demonstrate the global potential for floating of them by giving the technology in the region. I suppose ultimately what we are trying to do here is our vision is to shape up a North Sea broad energy hub where offshore wind is connected to other energy and low carbon fruition.

To get to this 40x30 technology will play a very key role and we have begun demonstrating this at Dogger Bank our flagship for innovation and digitalisation. We are using a G13 Megawatt Haliade-X turbine which is being installed by the largest turbine installation company Jan De Nul Group. We are also using HBDC system which is a first for our UK offshore wind and are also using the digitalisation data science we wanted to eventually optimise and make it as efficient as possible.

One thing to also note here is offshore wind alone will not help us to net zero in the UK the North Sea has a lot of resources and very extensive infrastructure here and it very ideal backdrop for a broad energy hub and we believe offshore wind together with storage in hydrogen is cheap to create a broad energy hub in the North Sea.

I suppose we are trying to do that with our pilot Batwind which is the wold's first battery for offshore wind thank you to Hywind Scotland and just a couple of days ago on the seventh we joined the first biggest green hydrogen project in the Netherlands NortH2 which aims to produce hydrogen unit technology from offshore wind off the coast of the Netherlands and we are also pioneering low carbon technology such as Zero Carbon Humber and the Northern Lights in Norway.

A final important component here is to get net zero to get 40x30 is floating rights. So I mention a bit about this is why I want to dive deeper here. Now the 80% of the world's wind resource need floating pollution to become commercialised to a great depth and we are already big in using the North Sea to pioneer this technology. For instance, Hywind Scotland then to Tampen in Norway and we really believe that commercialising floating and getting it to a utopian scale is something that is needed for commercial deployment and we expect this to be happening sometime in the end of this decade and early 2030. On skill affects competitive supply chain and both producing and disrupting innovation is really key to achieving the disparity between floating and fixed and we really believe a good collaboration with a supply chain, with collaboration with the government will help us achieve this by end of 2020's/early 2030's.

With that, I suppose I will conclude this by saying I will leave you one part in your mind, which is the North Sea is a very good area to have a large potential for offshore wind and to create a broader energy hub and with a lot of strong collaboration and using innovation with governments and supply chain will have enable to get that body by 2030 and then finally net zero.

Gareth: Thank you very much Sanjanaa. Just before we move onto Mary, just a reminder that we have chat function? So please do add in your questions and we will pick those questions up when we get to the end of the third session. So now I would like to hand over to Mary Thoroughgood of MHI Vestas.

Mary Thoroughgood: Great, thanks Gareth and I hope everyone can hear me well. Hopefully I will talk a little bit and try and bring to life actually some of what the policy and the frameworks we have been talking about have actually achieved so far in the UK and a little bit about the future as well.

I will start with the slide just to show – we talk a lot about assets components, factories but actually we like to remember the people. People that sit behind those and the people that we employ, so just a selection here from those employed. The seven hundred or so employed on our Isle of Wight Blades facility.

Next slide please. UK 50% of MHI Vestas' market and we employ nearly 1,000 people directly here and of course have a growing supply chain right across the UK. Key competence centre for our V16 and V174 which of course we are now taking globally and 2021 is going to be a really exciting year for us in the UK.

As we speak, the turbines are in Kincardine and making their way over to us from the Netherlands. That is a 50MW floating project in Scotland. They are currently preassembling for Moray East and Triton Knoll in Able Seaton and in Scotland respectively. And of course we will start preparations for FSE's Seagreen project which will be just over a Gigawatt off the coast of Scotland. Really exciting year for us in 2021 and of course you will have all read about our new upcoming relationship with Vestas as well, which we are looking forward to realising next year.

Next slide please. We have been in the UK on the Isle of Wight and servicing our projects since our inception of the joint venture in 2014 and with that presence has come long-term relationship with our supply chain particularly on the Isle of Wight and the south coast to support our Blade facility which has grown from one mould to two moulds over that time and just a selection of the businesses that we have worked with locally?

Existing businesses on the south coast obviously great specialisms in composite manufacturing particularly there already where we have worked with businesses to grow the FTEs they employ. Introduce new technologies to support our business, which of course that business can again take to new customers and of course work with new suppliers in our supply chain as well.

Safeguarding, designing new vessels but also safeguarding existing businesses as they diversity into this new industry, so super-exciting on the south coast but also in our service locations around the country as well.

Next slide please. Again I touched on people at the top. The expansion of the industry is super-exciting but we are going to need a lot of people to support that expansion as well. We are investing on that already on the Isle of Wight working closely with the local enterprise partnership and also the local colleges there to invest in a skills programme that trains -–we train all of our workforce on the Isle of Wight at this facility. We support them to train in NVQ level so that is technical education. We do lots of things there to make sure we establish those core skills in that facility, which we then take into our own facility and of course add a MHI Vestas flavour to those basic skills.

I think it is really important for the UK to remember, yes of course we need to invest in CAPEX, OPEX, all those things but we also need to invest in our people as well.

Next slide please. So I thought I would share a little bit of what we are actually doing today. Which is super-exciting. Offshore wind has such long timescales we do not often get that exciting that we are actually assembling, manufacturing and operating turbines.

This is our pre-assembly for Triton Knoll at Able Seaton which is currently underway and you can see there actually we have the towers, the blades beginning to be assembled for the start of installation early next year.

Really exciting time for us and it is always great for me personally to actually see the planning become real. But what is also interesting on this is to pick up some of what Sarah was saying about the Port investment that government is looking at doing.

If you could go to the next slide as well? Just another slide of the similar/another angle of Able Seaton. I think colleagues who are familiar with Esbjerg in Denmark and also Cuxhaven and can actually see this is a really small space to be assembling a project from and turbines are getting bigger.

So from our perspective, the Government's investment in ports is really welcome because we need to be able to complete with Esbjerg, Cuxhaven, all those big European ports to really provide the space. Not only for fixed foundations? But also floating foundations who are even more space hungry than fixed is, so I think these two slides are a really good illustration of how exciting it is for the UK but also how much we have to do to really upgrade our port infrastructure to service these wind farms, but also to attract the businesses to come and invest in the UK.

Next slide. Perhaps to move a little bit onto the future. I think the title is partnerships to this session so I think it is really important to highlight both the UK and Danish colleagues on the call actually how much there is on offer in the UK for businesses to connect with each other and with their customers.

The UK has developed eight clusters around the country. They all have different specialisms – floating in Scotland and the south west. Composite manufacturing on the south coast where we are located and O&M on the east coast as well. I can share the slide- happy to circulate the slide afterwards but it really speaks to businesses how important it is to connect with those clusters. Understand how they can help them really establish themselves in the UK.

Next slide. I guess finally, Sarah touched on and the Ambassador did as well, what an exciting time it is in the UK right now. It is exciting for COP26, exciting for the market, but also with that comes increased pressure to really deliver that economic benefit from offshore wind in the UK. But with that, also comes support from the government to do so. They are certainly looking very closely at all this and I would encourage all the businesses in the meeting to do so as well.

I think to compete my chain, even though we are located in the UK, there is no free ride in the UK. You have got to be globally competitive on price, quality and safety but there is lots of things around to help you do that – the clusters, the growth partnership and I am sure DIT and the government are there to help you do that as well.

I think it is exciting times but we are really looking towards the government to help us push forwards and really deliver those jobs and economic benefit as well. Thank you.

Gareth: Thank you very much Mary, that is great. So we move on next to our final presenter which is Andy from ABP.

Andy Reay: Yes thank you Gareth. Andy Reay from ABP. I am ABP's newly recruited – eight weeks in to the role now, Group Head of Commercial for offshore wind so I am the central function looking at how ABP can make offshore wind the part of their core business going forward.

I have just got a few slides here just to introduce ABP, what we have done historically in support of offshore wind, the UK's offshore wind industry and to tease it with a few images of what the potential could be, or what the future could look like for ABP in the UK going forward.

ABP for those who do not know, is the UK's leading port operator. We have 21 ports across England and Scotland and Wales. The map there showing the kind of general geographic spread of our port infrastructure. ABP's assets support around 120,000 jobs in the UK and those businesses which we help to support contribute £7.5 billion to the UK economy every year.

ABP itself is owned by a consortium of international investors. Sovereign wealth funds and large pension organisations and these are global investors who not only own transport and infrastructure assets in the UK, but also right across the globe. They are involved in other ports and airports and other long-term infrastructure investments.

Coming back to ABP's role in supporting the offshore wind industry in the UK. ABP has been, for over a decade now, our assets have supported not only the construction but the operations and maintenance of over 50% of the UK's offshore wind capacity. Primarily, in terms of O&M through our facilities in Grimsby where – Ørsted have their O&M centre for the UK. Down to Lowestoft – supporting some of the offshore wind farms off the east Anglian coast and then across in the Irish Sea in Barrow, some of the first offshore wind farms being developed out there or are supported from O&M facilities within our port of Barrow.

We have got history in this area in terms of supporting construction and O&M phase. And then about, back in 2016 we developed heavy lift facilities on the Humber. This is an area of land on the Humber where we invested in excess of £150 million alongside our partner in that development – Siemens Gamesa, who – or Siemens now – as they built a blade manufacturing facility. The berths there are capable of providing heavy lift capability for the export, the preassembly import and export of large wind turbine components. As I mentioned, Siemens have also got a blade manufacturing facility there and there is also, as Mary showed on the previous slide, there is also an extensive area available for the preassembly of large wind turbine components.

In addition to that on the Humber, we also have attracted the Auray Capitals. The O&M centre of excellence is being hosted in the port of Grimsby and so we are working in close collaboration with the Capitals to establish and work with them and work with some of the existing O&M operators out of the port of Grimsby on what the future of O&M looks like, both for the UK's offshore wind industry. So we are looking to collaborate on various innovations, whether it be innovative new fuels or the logistics of how to manage and operate vessel movements in support of O&M activities.

In addition to that, ABP we have a sister organisation known as ABPmer and I believe one of my colleagues is listening in today.

ABPmer are a long established marine and environmental consultancy, providing services to offshore wind clients. Particularly when it comes to the development phase, but also in terms of ongoing operational support and their focus is on where the marine environment meets the marine users, so whether that be vessel movements, the interaction between offshore and onshore when it comes to landing cables or cable burial assessment and things like that.

As I mentioned before, ABP have a history in supporting the UK's offshore industry. We have invested significantly over the previous decade, with as I mentioned, over 150 million being invested in one asset on the Humber alone, since 2016. And offshore wind has been identified by ABP as the core of our business going forward, so we certainly have an ambition to make significant investments going forward, whether that be to support O&M activities or the manufacturing or load-out of offshore wind components.

Next slide please. Just wanted to run through a few images to illustrate what ABP have done over the past decade. On the left-hand side of this image we have got a spectacular image of Siemens facility being hosted at the port of Hull. [Sorry my dog barking in the background there.] So this is the Siemens blade manufacturing facility and what you can see there is a host of other components ready for load-out onto two installation vessels in support of the construction activity for the offshore wind farms just off the coast.

An example of some of the windfarms which have been constructed using this facility as a load-out port. Dudgeon, Race Bank, Hornsea 1 and going into next year we will see Hornsea 2 be loaded out of that facility.

But we are not standing still! That facility is fantastic and it has supported the industry today but as Sarah and other speakers have mentioned, there is a huge ambition going forward 40Gw by 2030 and then potentially hundreds of Gigawatts being installed right across the North Sea and around Europe.

In order to support that, ABP recognise that we need more facilities whether that be right up and down the UK coastline and in Europe, there is simply not enough capacity to meet the ambitions, not just of the UK but also of the rest of Europe, there are significant announcements of other European players looking to develop out of offshore wind capacity.

With that in mind, ABP have been looking at a host of options of how we can expand our existing footprints, develop more areas to support the manufacturing supply chain, support increased load-out capacities so we can then build-out at a faster rate offshore.

The image on the right-hand side there is just one of the scenarios that we are working through at the moment and that shows the expansion of the existing Greenport hub facility into the remainder of the dock area and that effectively would double the capacity of the Greenport Hull facility able to support up to 3Gw of load-out going forward.

If we can skip to the next slide. But we are not just focussed on the Humber. We have, as I mentioned before, we have got 21 ports round the UK. Some of them already involved in offshore wind but others have the potential to be involved in offshore wind, so the image on the left-hand side there is an early example of the potential for a facility such as Port Talbot.

Port Talbot is a port which has long been associated with the steel industry. There is a lot of heavy manufacturing already in place and the skills in the workforce available. With the potential for floating offshore wind and the development of the Celtic and southern Irish Sea zones, we see there is a significant opportunity for a port like Port Talbot to be used to support the development of floating offshore wind going out over the next decade.

In particular for this port, it has the advantage of having particularly deep water and a lot of development land available and as I mentioned, there is an existing heavy industrial supply chain already present which can be turned and can be used to support the floating offshore wind industry.

On the right-hand side there, we are also looking at – that is the port of Lowestoft? Which currently supports a significant amount of existing operational offshore windfarms. There are a few O&M facilities within the port. But we recognise that going forward if we want to build a further 10Gw of offshore wind just off the coast there in East Anglia. We need to develop our port infrastructure to help to meet that demand.

What we have here is we are looking at plans to deepen the port, to allow better access for some of the larger SoV type vessels which are going to be needed to support those offshore windfarms which are further offshore and just are not feasible to be supported on a day-to-day basis using smaller CTV type vessels.

If we skip to the next slide? Some of the thoughts we have got. Perhaps reflecting back on some of the learning we found from some of the developments ABP have deployed over the past five to ten years.

Capturing local contents which I think is the ambition of UK Plc and the whole offshore wind industry relies on the ready availability of port facilities and the manufacturing capacity that those port facilities can support.

If we are going to get to 60% local content, we need to significantly raise our game in terms of the manufacturing capacity and hence the port facilities available in the UK to be able to do that.

Creating offshore wind hubs which I think again Sarah mentioned earlier on, that is being demonstrated in various other locations across Europe as being the main success factor when it comes to stimulating local jobs, economic growth and that clustering effect really accelerates the developments in terms of manufacturing capability for offshore wind.

If the UK can develop a significant offshore wind hub then that is going to provide the UK the long-term competitive advantage. Not only to support the UK's industry, but as mentioned earlier on, we need to be able to support the rest of Europe and potentially globally in the US through exports.

What I would say is investment decisions in these kind of infrastructure port facilities and manufacturing capability. They are complex decisions to make. They require alignment between national government, local government, the developers themselves, the port owners and the supply chain organisations and manufacturers.

We need to come together to develop these options and to build the business case to enable the investment going forward. The path to those financial investment decisions, is long. What it needs in order to get it through financial investment decision, is good visibility of the market. I believe we have that now, we have got 40Gw target by 2030 and significant ambitions to get to net zero by 2050.

I think we have closed off that market visibility aspect of it. Now it is a question of timing of the investment decisions, getting the safety rounds right and then getting the potential projects through the consenting process a lot faster than we perhaps historically seen as done.

With that in mind, because of these long-term decision-making and development time required, I do foresee the need to be interim or hybrid solutions being developed for the market. Not necessarily for fixed foundation offshore wind farms but I certainly think when it comes to floating offshore windfarm, there is the potential need to have interim solutions which perhaps enables us to use UK port infrastructure and some of the UK supply chain as a kind of interim step or hybrid step before we have the significant visibility for the market going forward.

I look forward to – so hopefully some interesting questions in the next session. Thanks.

Gareth: Thank you very much Andy. And also Mary and Sanjanaa for those slide presentations. We have had some questions on the Q&A so I was going to go to just pick up and group some of them and perhaps direct them at people too.

Two presentations mentioned floating offshore wind? And we have had questions in on that topic. Specifically on the question of commercialisation? And also the differences of going about developing floating and traditional anchored offshore wind.

But perhaps Sanjanaa and Mary in the first instance was mentioned in your presentation about the footprint of the component parts of offshore. Perhaps if you could respond on those questions.

Mary: Sure. I think, I had another picture but I did not actually fit in the deck that shows how big floating foundations are and the scale is immense, but I think for us as a turbine manufacturer? For floating we are quite agnostic about what we put the turbine on and actually we see one of the main barriers to commercialisation is actually industry settling on a foundation concept as you would all have seen. We have installed many, a number of free commercial projects on different foundations. We are agnostic about that but actually we see the challenge for once this time, perhaps is not ours. We will keep innovating in our technology but actually the challenge to the commercialisation of floating is around the foundations and finding a concept the industry can get behind and then drive the cost down on that.

Gareth: And then perhaps, the other element to, I guess commercialisation, would be the policy interventions and obviously we have got allocation round which we have touched on in the prior presentation and the separate category for floating offshore wind. Sanjanaa, will Equinor be taking interest in that part of the CFD when it comes out? Will you be scrutinising to see the opportunity there and what works at a commercial level for this sub-sector?

Sanjanaa: ...Yes Gareth and I suppose we are ready to welcome that change in our location going forwards and it's really positive to see that the UK is taking interest and also the strategic importance the UK is putting in offshore wind – so that is something that we see as a huge positive. But that also provides a new route to market for floating projects now that it has its own port, really.

Our early views on allocation for round 4 and what I'm doing with Dogger Bank I suppose but, you know, activity around Dogger Bank remains very competitive so we expect our ground force to remain competitive for the next allocation.

Gareth: Thank you. The theme of this particular session is around the supply chain opportunities and we heard earlier that there is very much an objective/ a goal to try and reach 60% target of local content by 2030. I am interested based on where we are now and where we need to go, do any of the panel members have any observations on whether that is a realistic target and if it is, or if it is not, what are the key steps that need to happen over the next few years in order to really have a good go at getting there?

Andy, I guess ABP are at the coal face of many of these projects. Do you have any observations on this topic?

Andy: Yes! If we want to achieve that run rate going forward of whatever, three and a half/four Gigawatts per annum being installed. I mean in order to get 60% local content of locals? We need to almost treble the UK's ability to provide content hopefully of offshore wind farms. Whether that be the blades which go into the turbines, the foundations or the cable manufacturing so it is a significant curve to go? But I think, as Sarah mentioned earlier on, the UK government has the ambition to get there. It has taken the right steps in terms of developing there's Bays offshore wind manufacturing fund which is there to support the port infrastructures, to get them ready to enable the manufacturers to invest in the capacity.

I think everyone would recognise that there needs to be UK capacity there, but also, European capacity needs to increase as well. It is not just a case of, know we are displacing European capacity, it is the whole industry needs to treble its capacity, and that is just for Europe! That does not include looking at Asia or the US. So there is a huge mountain to climb, but at least we have taken the first step in that we have got government support to make it happen.

Andy: Sorry, go ahead.

Mary: No, it is alright. I think Andy is right. I think more in terms of jobs than I do percentages? That is my point about people being employed in the UK delivering these things. I think that is also really important measure of success as well. I think it is going to be tough, I think everything that we do will drive a competitive response from our colleagues in other markets. Not only Europe now but also in Asia, the US and the Far East as well, so I think we are in a global game now which is perhaps not where we were, five/seven years ago where we have perhaps had a bit more of a run of the pitch.

Gareth: And Mary, just to pick up another question that is written on the chat machine. Obviously the opportunities that exist for UK Plc are obviously the new deployment that is getting a lot of attention is obviously the O&M as well. But it will not be too far down the line where things like decommissioning or repowering opportunities will come as well? Is that, I mean maybe that is included in one of the buckets of new deployment, but I do not know whether that is an area that MHI Vestas are looking at or considering as a market opportunity because that will need a capacity as well.

Mary: Completely. I think about decommissioning we particularly think about our blade recycling. I think when you see, there is a very specific challenge about what we do with those blades. How we recycle them, because of the composite material that they are made with? And I think and there is a lot going on at European level to think through how we do this and what is the viable way to do this economically competitive way?

But I think, I hope we will still be allowed to be involved in some of those projects but also the high value manufacturing catapult put together a susWIND initiative which we are really excited about, which will at UK ways for – UK methods, UK industry for recycling blades so I think there is definitely an opportunity there but yeah, blade recycling is top of our mind when we think about decommissioning of projects.

Gareth: Thank you, thank you.

Andy: If I can just come in on that. It is worth noting that the plans currently around port infrastructure manufacturing, that is just to supply the additional 30Gw we need going forward. We are going to be bringing some of the original windfarms off the bars in that period as well? So we need to then replace that? So it is not just 30Gw, it is potentially 35Gw, maybe even 40 we need to build-out.

And the current plans I do not think go significantly far in looking at what we need in terms of capacity to be able to facilitate all of that decommissioning activity as well. This is just the first step of a road.

Gareth: Thanks Andy. I was going to put a - I am conscious of time and the sessions that follow so I was going to put a final question to you in fact, which is – the topic of hydrogen. This did come up on the presentation. There is an awful lot of discussion about hydrogen at the moment and in particular combining offshore wind in order to produce hydrogen – green hydrogen at times of lower demand, so a huge amount of work I know is being done with frontier economics and government at the moment about what that market design would look like, but do the panel members have any observations about that opportunity and how that might develop as well as alongside the core opportunity of just building-out the offshore wind itself to supply power?

Gareth: Go, ahead, sorry.

Sanjanaa: If I can kick off with something I mentioned earlier as well, at Equinor we feel like there is a future where offshore wind is to be linked with energy storage and hydrogen specifically. Hydrogen really somethings can add to the competitiveness of [renewables in the years to come because it adds value and it also provides an alternative route to market for renewables. That is competitively put as one of the various ways to reduce that footprint to make sure that it also provides a de-carbonisation route for hydrogen-based sectors as well.

In fact, if I take the example of Northage 2 which is a project that we are working with Shell, RW in gasoline, the idea is to have about 4GW of offshore wind servicing to provide almost 0.4 million tonnes in terms of the green hydrogen. And then by 2040, getting up to one million tonnes of green hydrogen.

That is actually a bay between 8-10 million C02 emissions which is equal to the yearly emissions of road traffic in Norway. With offshore wind turbines expanding so much, it is really suited to getting that green hydrogen value chain levelled up, so really there is some belief here for a path in that too.

Rasmus: I am sorry to cut in on the discussion, but I am afraid we do need to wrap this session up. Gareth do you have a final remark?

Gareth: Just to say, thank you everyone. To the panellists and your contributions and thank you for the questions and clearly a great amount of work has been done. There is already lots of opportunity for the supply chain and there are many more opportunities coming with new development O&M, with re-powering and new markets. So, it would be great to see as much local content coming in at all of those levels of the value chain. Thank you Rasmus.

Rasmus: Thank you very much Gareth and thank you Sanjanaa, Andy and Mary as well for joining the panel, really appreciate it and thank you for your inputs. We are running a bit late so we will hurry on.

Our next speaker is Gabrielle Davis from Ørsted. She is their head of Asset Management at Hornsea 2 and she will talk about a topic which has influenced a lot of 2020 so she will talk about also experience of constructing during COVID times and how to keep the project on time.

Before I hand over to Gabrielle, she has asked me to do one thing which makes a webinar organiser's blood run cold and that is to show a short video.

So bear with us for a second, while we try to sort out any technical issues, but all joking aside, I think it is really worth it to see it because it shows in a good way, not just what they are doing at Hornsea 2, but also it is an image on the whole industry as such what we are delivering.

Peter, over to you.

[Video plays]

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. If we want to keep global warming with one point five degrees of pre-industrial levels, we need to take action, NOW.

The good news is that we have the solutions. At Ørsted our ambition is to help create a world that runs entirely on green energy.

Male 1: Hornsea 1 multitude projects they are more than just big projects. They are upscaling how we find climate change.

Male 2: In the past, companies have always been taking from the planet and now it is really important that we are able to give back.

Male 3: I am very proud and honoured to be part of this project.

Male 4: this is the kind of thing that you see on television that's on the Discovery Channel and I never thought in my life that I would be part of something so important.

Hornsea 1 is currently the world's largest offshore windfarm. When Hornsea 2 is ready, it will generate 1.4 Gigawatts of clean energy, about the same as a nuclear power station but at a fraction of the price. Hornsea 2 breaks the barrier and turns the offshore wind business from eco-ideal into eco-economic sense. Hornsea 1 and 2 together will supply 2.6 million homes with cleaner green energy.

Male 5: we need to move away from digging sunshine out of the ground. Burning sunshine. We need to move towards the greener things that Ørsted do. We need to lower consuming.

Male 6: well I think we all have a duty to leave this planet as green and as good as we found it and probably hopefully better than we found it for our future generations.

Female 1: the Hornsea 2 project is a hugely exciting and rewarding project. We are pushing the boundaries, not only in our schedule, in our design in all aspects of the project.

Male 7: Coming from a younger generation, obviously it is quite important that we are looking for things to change and obviously me being an age of only 22, I am happy to say that I have been involved in the change that is.

Male 8: it is the pride in the job and it is knowing that the jobs I have done over 40 years, I can still go past and see and still have that, I did that!

Why not join us and make this happen together.

Gabrielle Davis: Okay thanks Rasmus. I am now going to share my presentation.

Thank you. So thank you so much to the Danish Embassy and the Danish UK Association for inviting me to speak at today's webinar.

So, if you have heard, I am Gabrielle Davis. I am responsible for all commercial, consenting, regulatory and diversement workstreams for Ørsted Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm.

The video you just watched, was giving you an introduction to the Hornsea 2 windfarm and I would like to clarify that it was all filmed pre-COVID.

Before I begin discussing the challenges and mitigations that we have managed during this year, I would just like to first give you a brief introduction to Ørsted and our offshore wind business.

Ørsted is a Danish company, of course which in 2017 transitioned to focus only on renewable energy. We are the global market leader in offshore wind, with 6.8 Gigawatts of operational capacity and a further 3.1 Gigawatts being constructed by 2022.

Our ambition is to have 15 Gigawatts installed offshore wind capacity by 2025. In addition to our offshore wind business, we have a fast growing onshore wind unit, with a current 1.6 Gigawatts operational capacity and our pipeline should take us to 5 Gigawatts by 2025.

Finally, our markets and buyer energy division. We have converted all of our heat and power plants from coal and gas to biomass and waste energy and in Denmark we hold 25% of the heat and power generation market.

When it comes to offshore wind, Ørsted have an unrivalled track record. We began 30 years ago with a 5 Megawatt Vindaby windfarm. We have grown significantly since then. Our largest operational windfarm, Hornsea 1 has a 1.2 Gigawatt operational capacity powered by 1747 Megawatt turbine.

And as you have seen, Hornsea 2 will be even larger.

The UK is Ørsted's largest offshore wind market, with 12 operational wind farms and a current 5.8 Gigawatts installed capacity. This provides power for 4.5 million homes and we are currently building Hornsea 2, which will be the world's largest offshore wind farm, when it becomes operational.

It will be 1.4 Gigawatts and 90 km off the North Lincolnshire coast. Construction began onshore in 2018 with our onshore substation and has been progressing at a pace since then and we are now well into offshore construction with 24 foundations already installed in the sea bed.

Construction is due to complete in early 2022, with the wind farm becoming fully operational shortly thereafter.

So Hornsea 2: as a project, has a clear and simple mission. To deliver our promise to safely build the world's biggest and best value offshore wind farm.

But our legacy is just as important as our mission. Enrichment. So we do not want Hornsea 2 to be just another project to those who are working on it, whether they are Ørsted employees or from one of our contract partners. So from day 1 we are focussed on creating an environment where everyone can thrive.

Now this may not seem like a priority during a pandemic, but for us maintaining this thriving environment has been essential to how the Hornsea 2 project has navigated the challenges brought by COVID. We have had to make many adjustments but our continued focus on innovation, individual and team development and safety has proved to be very effective in maintaining not only the high standards required to continue constructing, but has meant that morale and motivation have remained strong.

And we do this through our safety model: Plan, care, communicate.

Plan, care, communicate is how we work. We plan early, we care about our people and we communicate constantly and it is not just about safety. It also forms the cultural and behavioural backbone of the Hornsea 2 project. And I believe it is the reason we have been so successful in continuing construction during COVID.

Throughout the pandemic, we have maintained a focus on conventional safety as well. COVID could easily have created a distraction from the very high safety standards that are essential to safely building an offshore windfarm. And the industry as a whole has, unfortunately, seen standards slipping during COVID, but are proud that this has not happened on Hornsea 2 because safety on our sites will always be one of the biggest risks that we manage.

We began planning how to mitigate the impact of COVID back in January. We are constructing our offshore substation in Singapore and Indonesia, so we could see what was coming and we began planning our mitigations before the pandemic hit European shores.

The Hornsea 2 project has also been working closely with Ørsted's UK and global COVID response taskforces, ensuring an aligned response across our business unit.

We have consistently been putting people's physical and mental health and wellbeing front and centre by implementing all reasonable safety measures that we can and we have also provided our people with everything they need physically, emotionally and procedurally to ensure that they and their teams are fully supported in safely delivering their works.

We have to make sure that people understand what is being done to make them safe, what their part in it is and why it is so important. So we have also been listening to the concerns received from our people and ensure that we have clear communications around how we are adjusting those concerns.

So the first real COVID challenge that we encountered, came with the spring lockdown in the UK. We immediately had to work out how we could continue safely constructing while the UK was shutting down around us.

And we did face a number of challenges. So first and foremost, of course we had to focus on physical and psychological safety concerns of our people. At the same time, we were complying with quickly changing government guidance, we had to procure additional PPE, figure out how we could make social distancing practicalities work on our sites and align with our contractors to make sure that we had the same consistent approach across all of our sites.

We also had to rapidly develop new people focussed and employment law compliant HR policies and guidance. For example, temperature measurements, shielding and adjustment for shift patterns to enable testing for COVID free mobilisation.

So we did this through the principal of ALARP. Now for those not familiar with the ALARP principal, it means simply 'as low as reasonably practicable'. So we did not pretend that we could or even aiming for 100% COVID free sites.

That was and it remains not possible, but what we did promise was that we would ensure that the risk of catching COVID on any of our sites was ALARP.

The approach we took was one that is referred to in the industry as 'Swiss cheese'. So there are always some holes, but if you build up enough layers, it is more difficult for the risk in question to find its way through. So each layer alone is not enough to significantly reduce the risk of our employees and contractors catching COVID. But we focussed on the ways in which combined, we could keep the risk low.

These measures are really very simple. We have limited access to our sites, to business critical employees only. Everyone entering site must have their temperature taken. We offer anti-germ and PCR testing and we have adjusted offices and site operations to enable physical distancing and, of course, we have the additional PPE where that is required.

Our ALARP measures have been very successful and Public Health England have been supportive of our approach to keeping our sites safe during the pandemic.

Here are just a few images of some of these measures implemented on our sites. So, at our Humberside construction office we set up a COVID testing area. We also have touchless thermometers and auto-hand gel dispensers and have prescribed access routes in and out of offices for all staff.

When it comes to our site construction measures, we have amended all work procedures so that they are COVID-19 compliant and have built those rules into the start of every work briefing.

We also make sure that work groups are bubbled together so they are not interacting with other workers and just to give you an idea of the scale for our onshore cable route at the peak of construction this year, there are 120 operatives on site. And really the principle we have is that if a task cannot be done safely with social distancing then we do provide the additional PPE.

So as this if the challenges of COVID-19 in the UK were not difficult enough, we have also had to manage the impact on our global supply chain. I mean, one thing that actually has enabled us to work quickly and effectively mitigate our COVID challenges is the fact as I have mentioned, that we are constructing our offshore substation in Singapore.

Now, Singapore have actually been very successful at managing the outbreak and we have learnt a lot from them. However, they did experience outbreaks in the dormitories that housed many of the workers and this did present a challenge to our project. There was a circuit breaker imposed in April, in Singapore, which meant a few month's shutdown of the yards where the Hornsea 2 offshore substation top-sites are being constructed.

Now dispute the challenge this presented, and our strong project culture which is shared with our principal contractors over in Singapore, this has meant we have been able to mitigate any delays and we remain on track to be fully operational in early 2022 as planned.

So onto the next challenge. So Hornsea 2 is of course a UK windfarm, but Ørsted is a Danish company. A significant proportion of our team are based in Denmark and the travel quarantines which came into force in June did pose challenges to our progress because we need to keep our people moving.

However, working closely with our regulatory team who have got a really strong relationship with Bays and they have weekly calls with them, we have been able to feed back to government about quarantine regulations were to impact our nationally significant infrastructure project and as a result we have been able to find a way through to enable business critical members of the team and key contract partners to continue to travel.

So finally, our people and supporting their mental health and wellbeing. So we believe that our success is only possible because of our people. We have world leading technology and some of the best talent in the industry. But we cannot deploy it successfully if our people are not equipped physically and mentally to carry out their roles.

Ørsted has always put people front and centre of everything we do and people over profits culture has always meant high safety standards and excellent working conditions for everyone. Regardless of whether they are office or site based.

So of course COVID created a unique challenge that you will all be very familiar with, but for our safety approach at Ørsted, we really did need to not only quickly plan how we could keep our site based employees and contractors safely working, but almost overnight we needed to ensure a huge proportion of the workforce could work effectively from home.

For many of us, the spring lockdown has brought additional challenges at home schooling our children, or caring for friends and family who have been forced to shield and again, plan is key. So from a senior leadership and throughout the wider team, we have focussed on communicating our plans clearly with people at the forefront. We have focus a lot on mental health, creating a culture where everyone has been encouraged to talk about how they are coping and to ask for help if they need it.

The message was, and still is, very simple. It is okay to not be okay.

Now that the UK and much of Europe has been through two lockdowns and there are ongoing restrictions, the biggest challenge we face is COVID fatigue. It has been a really long year and it is hard to maintain focus with all these measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID spreading on our sites.

While our plan is under constant review and we were advised in this guidance changing, we are focussing now more than ever on caring and communicating. So while the end is maybe in sight, you know there are still several months of COVID restrictions ahead of us. So we need to remain focussed on avoiding that COVID fatigue and continuing success that we have had to date in mitigating the challenges that we face.

Just to wrap up, it is a real testament to the Hornsea 2 teams people focussed and one team approach that we have not only been able to maintain progress building what will be the world's largest offshore wind farm, when it becomes operational, but that we finish 2020 with stronger relationships and even more trust within the team and with our contract partners perhaps than we started with.

And now with the vaccine rollout already underway in the UK, we are looking forward to a new year with a feeling of hope and excitement because it is going to be the most intense year of construction of Hornsea 2 and speaking on behalf of the entire Hornsea 2 team, we cannot wait.

Just to finish up by summarising our three key learnings from constructing the world's largest offshore wind farm during a pandemic.

Maintaining our focus on enriching and not just surviving has meant the Hornsea 2 project team and our contract partners have remained focussed, energised and able to deliver.

Our safety model: plan, care, communicate; not only enables successful execution but the simplicity of the model provides clarity and focus while a global crisis unfolded around our project and the lives of everyone involved.

And finally, that very simple message that it is okay not to be okay. Mental health and wellbeing are not secondary, regardless of deadlines or specific project challenges and if psychological health is prioritised, then the team will be able to perform. Thank you for listening.

Rasmus: Gabrielle, thank you so much for this and it is really interesting to see how huge engineering project like this is kept on track even though we are in very very challenging circumstances. Speaking as one who has been at the forefront of assisting Danish companies in their challenges with the travel bans, I can assure you that there has been so many difficulties in this, so that we are able to continue is really impressive and excellent news for all of us.

We have to hurry on to the next speaker and until now all of the presentations have been looking at the UK markets but as we heard in the panel discussion, the supply chain is growing in the UK and we are/they are being developed innovative solutions just to mention a few of them are, a commitment to power to X and also some of the work that has been done with [unclear 01:36:52] surely will create a supply chain with the capabilities that they can be exported. So that is why I am really excited that Michael Hannibal from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is here to give a sort of helicopter view and his outlook on what the sort of global opportunities are in the offshore wind sector. Obviously, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is very well positioned with offshore activities on almost all continents, so Michael thank you very much for joining us, over to you.

Michael: Yes, thanks Rasmus and please nod that you can hear me well?

Okay. I am also a little bit short of time and I guess many of you are short on time so I will do it in a quick way and thanks for putting a few words on CIP fund management company founded in 2012 actually the world's largest fund manager dedicated to greenfield renewable infrastructure investments.

Doing offshore and both floating and fixed onshore solar floatable tech, biomass waste to energy hydro storage, and a lot more things.

To put things a little bit into perspective Rasmus asked me to look a little more globally and I think we can all agree that during the last decade, a tremendous growth has been experienced and it has been a journey for all of us taking part of it. 2019 was a record year for offshore wind, more than 6 Gigawatts added and cumulative. I think we passed 29 Gigawatt.

2020 will, despite the COVID and with initiatives like green recovery be expected to be another good growth year. The interesting thing putting the European numbers in a larger perspective is that looking at it towards 2030, expectations are that we will pass 230 Gigawatts. Some numbers are 234 in 2030.

That of course is super super-interesting and with more than approximately 10 Gigawatt offloading also put in place. This of course means that a lot of technology and innovation will have to happen. There will be a lot of focus on electrification. There will be a lot of focus on de-carbonisation of the transport sector and so on but it also means that a lot of growth will happen outside, for this case UK and Denmark and North Sea and with our experience being on all continents – US, Europe, Asia, Taiwan, Japan, Korean, Vietnam, Philippines, Australia and so on, there seems to be a pattern which goes around localisation and how to do this in new markets.

I think the observation is that there is a good opportunity now for finding out how one can team up in a global way so that we can be global still, making sure that the global knowledge is used but it will have to be used in local societies. So basically teaming global up with local and thereby manage that we, as a sector, will continue to deliver on our promises when it comes to time, cost, quality, health and safety, performance and not lose the trust of basically making sure that things also in the future will be bankable.

I think that is the short version of what I had planned to get around and then back to you Rasmus.

Rasmus: Michael, thank you so much for that input and I think it is definitely something both for us to takeaway for the Danish supply chain and for the UK supply chain that there are emerging markets where this sort of global competencies can be used locally. It is really interesting.

I am afraid that we have run over quite a lot and I will need to wrap up today's session. First of all, let me just say thank you to all of you that have listened in on today's conversation. Really appreciate it. As I said in the beginning, it is the eighth time that we organised this webinar, this conference so we hope to be able to come back with another conference next year.

The date is 2 December and we really hope that you will be able to join there as well.

So for now, I would just like to say thank you from me here at the Embassy, thank you from the Danish UK Association. Thank you to our sponsors, ABP and Gowling WLG, Bussell and also for everyone who has supported us in terms of making this event possible.

We will shortly be sharing the link to the recording of the event and by saying thank you very much for joining and see you again soon, hopefully.

Bye for now.

"Read the original article on".

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.