29/06/2011

Northern Ireland Bids For Business At Offshore Wind Event

Northern Ireland is demonstrating its expertise and experience in offshore wind and marine energy at Offshore Wind 2011.

Invest Northern Ireland and Belfast Harbour have joined forces on the Northern Ireland stand to showcase the region's capabilities in offshore wind and marine energy at the event, organised by Renewables UK, which runs on June 28 and 29.

Harland and Wolff are also exhibiting, focusing on its world-class facilities and successful renewable projects. At the core of the Belfast Harbour presentation will be the planned Marine Energy Park and the major investment by Denmark's DONG Energy there.

DONG is also among the high profile businesses sponsoring the exhibition and conference while other key industry players such as Areva, Siemens and ABB are backing the important event, which features 167 exhibitors and is expected to attract almost 3,000 delegates including developers, manufacturers, investors, financiers, senior government officials and all others interested in the latest developments in offshore wind energy.

Tracy Meharg, Invest NI's Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, commenting on the exhibition, said: "Offshore Wind provides a golden opportunity to display the strength of Northern Ireland in renewables. It also offers a chance to highlight the many benefits that Northern Ireland offers companies either seeking partners to collaborate on projects and products, or interested in what we believe is the best location in Europe for renewable energy technology.

"Our presentation will highlight Northern Ireland's highly supportive infrastructure for renewable. This ranges from superb facilities at Belfast Harbour and other ports, the established network of companies currently working, particularly on offshore wind and marine energy projects, the engineering skills of our workforce and the engagement that our universities and colleges have in this strategically important industry.

"Harland and Wolff is now a major player in renewables and has vast engineering experience gained from its involvement in major offshore and tidal energy projects. The exhibition stand, in addition, will detail the support that companies keen to work with Northern Ireland on renewable technologies can secure from the experienced team at Invest NI."

Joe O'Neill, Belfast Harbour Commercial Director, said: "We offer an unrivalled resource for the renewable industry with both existing and planned facilities, including a bespoke £40 million plus logistics hub and a deep water quay with no tidal restrictions, as well as substantial development space for investors.

"With over 2,500 turbines planned within 150 nautical miles of Belfast, the harbour is well placed to be the leading Irish Sea port in this sector. The Marine Energy Park will further complement our logistics services by offering renewable energy companies dedicated space for a range of activities including R&D and manufacturing."

As well as showcasing the network of local companies working in renewable from sectors such as construction, mechanical and electrical engineering and design, senior executives from eight Northern Ireland renewable businesses will be present on the Invest NI stand.

(KMcA/GK)

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