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Project paves way for new energy bonanza

PUBLISHED: 14:44 13 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:29 05 July 2010

WITH a global focus on the energy world, leading lights from Britain, Norway, Sweden, Holland and Germany descended on Lowestoft to unveil a £4m European project.

WITH a global focus on the energy world, leading lights from Britain, Norway, Sweden, Holland and Germany descended on Lowestoft to unveil a £4m European project.

And as a pioneering partnership was signed at the landmark Orbis Energy building last Friday, the region looks set to be on the verge of a new energy bonanza - with Lowestoft likely to be “central” to developments around the North Sea.

Leading delegates from five European countries in the North Sea region attended the second transnational POWER Cluster project meeting, where the unique partnership agreement was signed.

This POWER - Pushing Offshore Wind Energy Regions - cluster is set to spawn closer co-operation between the countries as the drive to harness greater green power gathers pace.

Creating a North Sea competence network for offshore wind energy, the POWER initiative will share expertise in a bid to secure the continent's energy future and develop a skilled workforce as tens of thousands of new posts look set to be created.

The £4m European project has the key objective to support the offshore wind industry and develop a strong offshore wind energy cluster around the North Sea.

And with Lowestoft at the “heart of the industry” given the town's “strategic” position, the

state-of-the-art Orbis Energy centre was cited as a “fantastic” example of the aims and ambitions of the project as those present at last week's meeting “look forward to making these a reality.”

One of the key delegates involved in the unique signing of the partnership agreement last week was project lead beneficiary Dr Mathias Grabs.

Working for the BIS Bremerhaven Economic Development Company in Germany, who established the north German “Centre for the Production and Installation of Offshore Wind Turbines” in Luneort, an industrial estate in Bremerhaven, Dr Grabs exclusively told The Journal that he saw “many similarities” between developments at the

80-hectare site in the

Southern Fishery Harbour of Bremerhaven and Lowestoft.

“We are the lead partner in the Power Cluster, after we had previously led the former POWER project,” he said. “We've built up a very strong partnership with Suffolk County Council and EEEgr (East of England Energy Group) and in terms of meeting new businesses, building information and improving contacts it has been very important.”

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