Dublin-based Europlan Group has been awarded the EPCM (engineering, procurement and construction management) contract for the development of a subsea power cable manufacturing factory in the Port of Nigg in the Scottish Highlands with Japanese multinational company Sumitomo Electric. The project will support the delivery of critical infrastructure to help build resilient supply chains for the offshore wind and renewable energy sectors. 

The announcement was made at Enterprise Ireland’s Offshore Wind Forum which took place recently in Croke Park, Dublin. This knowledge and networking event convenes the growing Irish offshore wind supply chain with key industry decision makers from across the Irish, UK and global offshore wind markets. 

Trade promotion junior minister Dara Calleary said: “Today’s announcement is a welcome illustration of the significant opportunities for Irish companies to participate in offshore wind supply chains internationally.

Plans to deliver 5GW of offshore wind energy by 2030

"Ireland plans to deliver 5GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, with a further 2GW in development for non-grid use, ramping up to 37GW by 2050. The skills and experience developed through Irish companies’ involvement in international projects, such as Europlan Group’s contract in the Port of Nigg, will be critical when it comes to delivering our own offshore wind projects here in Ireland.

"In addition, the potential for a wide range of new skilled jobs across the entire offshore wind supply chain is substantial, serving both Irish and international projects. In that context I welcome today’s news and congratulate Europlan Group on their success”.

Enterprise CEO Leo Clancy said: “The high value contract announced by Europlan Group today is reflective of the significant growth opportunities for Irish businesses who can meet the supply chain needs of the offshore wind sector. 

"Their technical capabilities and innovation can help the global offshore wind industry to achieve its substantial energy generation ambition in the years ahead.

"Today’s forum aims to raise awareness among Irish companies of the major offshore wind supply chain opportunities here in Ireland, in the UK and across global markets as the sector grows at pace. These opportunities will help to deliver high quality regional jobs across Ireland and contribute to the global effort to decarbonise our economies.”

Donnchadh Campbell, MD at Europlan Group said: “As an Irish company with a mainly Irish-based workforce, we are thrilled to have been awarded this competitive contract, which is testament to the quality and capability of Irish engineering and its standing internationally.

"This project at the Port of Nigg will be responsible for the delivery of critical infrastructure to support the offshore wind and renewable energy sectors at this pivotal moment in the transition to green and renewable energy sources.” 

Attendees at Enterprise Ireland’s Offshore Wind forum will be updated on both the Irish and UK offshore wind markets, with key contributions from project developers and industry experts. Irish firms benefit significantly from proximity to the UK market, currently one of the world's largest offshore wind markets. 

The UK has set the ambition to achieve up to 50 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, including 5 GW from innovative floating technology, which will require about 2,600 additional wind turbines and a minimum capital investment of £48bn by 2030 to meet this target. Attendees will also be updated on opportunities beyond Ireland and the UK, in markets such as France, Germany, Italy and the Nordics. 

Timelines, opportunities and challenges

The Offshore Wind Forum will assess the timelines, opportunities and challenges facing the offshore wind industry and will examine how the supply chain can help facilitate continued growth. There will also be a panel discussion focused on the emerging field of floating offshore wind which is seeing significant innovation from Irish companies.

The audience will hear from companies such as Dublin Offshore, TFI Marine and Subsea Micropiles, who are all developing smart solutions for the mooring systems needed for these floating platforms. 

Attendees will also hear from EirGrid, the developer and operator of the national electricity grid, on plans to bring greater amounts of renewable energy from wind onto the grid, as well as opportunities for the wider offshore supply chain.

A total of 64.3GW of global offshore wind capacity across three continents and 19 countries was in operation by the end of 2022.

Enterprise Ireland will also be working closely with the developers of the four offshore wind projects which were approved in the recent recent Irish ORESS1 auction to ensure that as many Irish businesses as possible become embedded in project supply chains, maximising local content and jobs.

Launched at last year’s Offshore Wind Forum, Enterprise Ireland’s Gael Offshore Network brings together more than 90 Irish companies with expertise in areas including civil and marine engineering, geotechnical/geophysical capability, materials handling, environmental surveys and data collection, along with an innovative expertise in digital for offshore and associated cybersecurity. 

Many of the Gael Offshore Network member companies are entering and winning business in the offshore wind market from adjacent industries.