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Renewed call from wind energy giant for firms to pitch their services

PUBLISHED: 05:30 26 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:15 26 June 2018

Vattenfall is opening up opportunities for local businesses to get involved with the construction of its Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas wind farms. Picture: Vattenfall

Vattenfall is opening up opportunities for local businesses to get involved with the construction of its Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas wind farms. Picture: Vattenfall

© Ben Barden Photography Ltd.

A campaign to get more East Anglian businesses involved in a multi-billion pound energy project off the region’s coast is being stepped up.

The estiamted search area for where undergound cables from the Vattenfall wind farms could go. Graphic: ArchantThe estiamted search area for where undergound cables from the Vattenfall wind farms could go. Graphic: Archant

Vattenfall, the developer behind the proposed Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm developments, is calling for more local companies to pitch the skills they could offer to the project – on which construction work could begin in less than three years.

The Swedish energy giant is particularly keen to hear from businesses who could install onshore electrical infrastructure – which will involve around 60km of cable to connect the wind farms to substations and the use of HVDC (high voltage direct current) technology.

Rob Lilly, Vattenfall’s procurement manager for the Vanguard and Boreas projects, said: “In our experience, businesses that move first have the advantage and our request for information is designed to give local firms the edge when construction contracts start being let, potentially as early as 2020.”

Ruari Lean, project manager for Norfolk Vanguard, added: “Throughout our consultation with local people and organisations we have heard loud and clear there is an appetite to work with us and put Norfolk on the global offshore wind map.”

An initial event for businesses interested in working on the project was held in March for them to find out how they could fit into the supply chain for the developments.

Vattenfall has said it is considering splitting its contracts into smaller packages to provide more opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses.

Mr Lilly previously said that he was looking for partnerships which could last the 25-year lifetimes of the Vanguard and Boreas wind farms.

Nova Fairbank, public affairs manager at Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “We would hope to see hundreds of jobs created and many long-term opportunities in the wind energy sector for appropriately skilled young people.”

If permission is granted for the project off the east coast of Norfolk in 2019, the wind farms could be up and running by the middle of the next decade, generating a combined capacity of 3.6GW – enough electricity to meet the annual demand of 2.6 million households, almost 10% of total household demand.

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