Waving the flag for the east at Westminster

A 200-strong delegation from the East of England’s energy industry will head to Westminster this month to reinforce to politicians the region’s importance to the sector and the UK economy.

The East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) will be previewing its case to government for an Offshore Wind Sector Deal for the cluster in the region across industry, education and research and development. It will also be promoting its aspiration for the east to be recognised as a centre of excellence in shallow water late life and decommissioning.

The event at the House of Commons on 30 October has been organised at the invitation of Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney and Chairman of the British Offshore Oil and Gas Industry All-Party Parliamentary Group.

Chris Claydon, chief executive of the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), will be speaking about how the skills shortages in the industry can be addressed.

Claire Perry, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), has also been invited to address delegates.

This annual event is run for energy developers, operators and the supply chain businesses working in the oil & gas, offshore wind and nuclear industries to meet representatives from political parties, MPs, ministers and government departments such as BEIS, Treasury, Defra and other relevant bodies.

Simon Gray, chief executive of EEEGR, said the region was seeing projects across oil and gas, offshore wind and nuclear moving ahead.

Swedish energy group Vattenfall has announced its intention to locate its operations base for the Norfolk Vanguard and Boreas projects at Great Yarmouth port.

There has also been an agreement for a new operations and maintenance base at Harwich port for the Galloper wind farm, and the Crown Estate announced approvals for a number of extensions on existing wind farms in the region, including Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon, Great Gabbard and Galloper.

ScottishPower Renewables project, East Anglia ONE, is now actively in construction, East Anglia THREE was recently granted consent by the Planning Inspectorate and proposals for the remaining projects are still in development.

EEEGR’s work with the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in the rejuvenation of the Southern North Sea is starting to produce a number of tangible rewards with reports and learning papers in a number of subject areas, including tight gas and well salting, decommissioning best practice and gas to wire technology.

Mr Gray said: “The contribution of the East of England’s energy industry can never be underestimated. All the major energy sources are here – oil & gas, offshore wind and nuclear. Our region is leading the way in the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Key representatives from the main operators in each sector will be present at the event. Our members say every year what a valuable reception it is for relationship building.

“Also, we will be promoting, an area where one of EEEGR’s four special interest groups is doing valuable work.”

EEEGR platinum sponsor ScottishPower Renewables is supporting the event, which will be held in the Members’ Dining Room from 4pm to 6pm. Other sponsors are EDF, Equinor, Fred.Olsen Windcarrier, James Fisher Marine Services and the Oil and Gas Authority.

Tickets are £75 for EEEGR members and £150 for non-members.

For more information and to book your ticket, go to www.eeegr.com