Great Yarmouth-based energy group Stowen aims to build the US renewable energy market
East Anglia’s expertise in renewable power could be harnessed to drive green energy growth in the United States – thanks to a firm operating on both sides of the Atlantic.
Stowen has offices in Houston, Saudi Arabia, West Africa and Great Yarmouth, with an expansion into Lowestoft under way. Now the group, which provides a range of services across the energy industry, is aiming to double its turnover to £10m as it hopes to expand green energy use in the United States.
President and chief executive Mathew Owen said East Anglia had been a natural fit for the company and it would continue to grow with the opening of a Lowestoft renewable energy office which should open by the end of March.
He said: “We are opening up a renewables division, with around six new roles, which will be based in Lowestoft to further promote our interest in the renewable and also the domestic sectors.”
Stowen has 14 permanent onshore employees in Great Yarmouth but Mr Owen said many more were employed on a contract basis dependent on jobs.
“We have had some fairly large projects with 60 to 70 people from Great Yarmouth working on them,” he said.
Mr Owen has been based in Houston for around nine years but said the city had been hard hit by the latest fall in oil prices – which has led Stowen to look to East Anglia and green energy.
He said: “Oil and gas in Houston has been extremely hard hit but renewables is something that we are extremely excited about. It is something the States is quite behind in and is actually looking to Europe to lead on.
“Offshore wind and solar are going to see significant growth in the US.
“There is little to no technical ability in offshore wind in the US and it is certainly something we will be looking to UK personnel for – with workers from Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft likely to be among them.”
Mr Owen said he expected turnover to increase this year from £4-5m to £10m for the UK business and added there was already £5m worth of work in the pipeline in the North Sea.
Despite much of the oil and gas industry suffering as part of a downturn in commodity prices Mr Owen said Stowen had staved off the worst of it by securing some large exploration contracts.