Offshoreenergy.dk inspire Finnish-German Offshore Wind study-visitors
Offshore wind study-visit delegates from the Satakunta region in Finland and from Rostock in Germany had a tight schedule as they were welcomed in Esbjerg by Offshoreenergy.dk end May 2018. The study visit was organized as part of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme funded project EmpInno aiming at enhancing the innovation capacity and business growth within small and medium sized regions and cities. Thus, topics of interest for the study visit included: How has Esbjerg developed into a hub for offshore wind in the North Sea? How is the innovation eco-system around Offshoreenergy.dk organised? And what kind of public support is offered to the offshore energy industry in Esbjerg?
The study visit kicked off in the Town Hall where the Mayor of Esbjerg, Jesper Frost Rasmussen, welcomed the delegates and stressed the vital economic importance of the offshore industry in Esbjerg. All of which became even clearer as the delegates met with companies such as Vattenfall Renewables Wind, Atkins Company, Ocean Team Group and Blue Water Shipping and went on a guided tour around the port of Esbjerg.The Finnish delegation was composed by companies, the City of Pori and business development managers who are jointly working on establishing an offshore wind cluster in Pori that can act as a servicing hub for e.g. the Tahkoluoto Offshore Wind Farm – Finland’s first ever offshore wind park from 2010.
Accordingly, attention was high when Vattenfall Renewables Wind presented to the delegates what demands and expectations the company holds towards suppliers to their wind parks and when Offshoreenergy.dk CEO Glenda Napier explained the structure and activities of the Danish offshore wind innovation ecosystem.Marko Lehtimäki from Pori Business Development also took part in the study visit and got some valuable impulses with him back home: “It is obvious that Denmark, and especially Esbjerg, has vast experience within offshore wind. There are good conditions for companies and some cooperation structures in place among the different actors in the value chain that makes the industry here both innovative and robust”. Marko continues with a reflection on where Pori is today in comparison: “Of course it takes time to establish a business environment as professional as in Esbjerg. We need to enhance our effort to bring all our offshore wind stakeholder – public as well as private – closer together to establish trust and cooperation. This visit to Esbjerg certainly has given valuable input to do so and among us delegates there is now an even stronger team-spirit to do it together”.
The German delegation with the participation from Rostock Business, Wind Energy Network and a number of companies were especially interested in the transition Esbjerg has been through from being Denmark’s fisheries port number one, over tapping into offshore oil and gas industry in the early 1970s where the first oil was drilled from Dan-field in the North Sea to becoming an offshore energy metropolis from 2002 where the first large scale offshore wind park Horns Rev I was put in place in the North Sea. Ever since Esbjerg has been European leader in handling and shipping of offshore wind turbines.