Three Welsh companies selected for ORE Catapult’s first floating offshore wind F4OR programme in Wales
Ledwood Mechanical Engineering, Mainstay Marine Solutions and CELSA Steel UK have been named as the three Welsh companies selected to take part in the first Fit 4 Offshore Renewables (F4OR) programme in Wales.
F4OR Wales will be delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, in partnership with Floventis Energy, the developer of Llŷr 1 and 2 in the Celtic Sea and is specifically designed to support local companies bidding for work in the floating offshore wind industry.
Davood Sabaei, F4OR project manager at ORE Catapult, said: “After a huge response to our call for Welsh companies, we are excited to announce the three excellent companies chosen for F4OR Wales that are leading the way in becoming part of a world-class supply chain. This is the first time that our F4OR programme has been tailored exclusively for the floating wind market, and F4OR Wales has been designed to give businesses the skills and expertise to deliver success in this rapidly growing sector.”
Cardiff-based CELSA is Europe’s leading producer of circular and low-emission steel, and it recycles ferrous scrap to produce steel in electric arc furnaces, using energy-efficient technology. F4OR will give CELSA the opportunity to develop expertise in the renewable energy sector and is now preparing to supply materials, fabrication, and installation services as part of the floating offshore wind supply chain.
Mainstay Marine Solutions is based in Pembroke Dock and has a long legacy of boat building, engineering, and marine services. Their facilities include workshops, new build halls, a wet basin, five slipways, and a 160t hoist, and their 65-strong team includes naval architects, engineers, welders, fabricators, fitters and painters.
Also based in Pembroke Dock, Ledwood Mechanical Engineering employs 250 and provides mechanical and fabrication services to the energy and petrochemical sectors. Having been granted Fit for Nuclear status by the Nuclear AMRC, Ledwood is currently working on the UK’s nuclear new build programme including equipment installation, delivery of stainless steelwork ducting and the erection of carbon steelwork.
Nick Revell, Managing Director of Ledwood Mechanical Engineering, said: “It’s an honour to have been selected for F4OR Wales, alongside Mainstay and CELSA, and we look forward to preparing our business for the emerging floating offshore wind industry. We’ve seen first-hand the benefit that industry programmes can have, as Fit For Nuclear helped us prepare to bid for and win work in the nuclear supply chain; benchmarking our performance against the standards demanded by the nuclear industry’s top tiers and driving business improvements through a tailored action plan.
“Our heritage means that we have a unique understanding of the opportunities for renewable energy in South West Wales and we’re keen to use our transferable skills and capabilities to support projects like Llŷr 1 and 2 to generate long-term sustainable employment locally.”
Cian Conroy, Head of Project Development UK & Ireland for Floventis Energy, added: “Test and demonstration projects like Llŷr 1 and 2 are what will build a floating offshore wind industry in Wales, so it is critical that we work with the supply chain to maximise the opportunity.
“We’re delighted that so many great companies took the time to apply for the programme and look forward to working with Ledwood, Celsa and Mainstay Marine on the F4OR programme over the coming months to prepare them for forthcoming opportunities in the Celtic Sea and beyond.”
Plans for future F4OR Wales cohorts are already in the pipeline and further details will be announced in the coming months.
F4OR is a 12-18 month programme, designed alongside industry experts, and it has experienced widespread success across the UK since it started in 2019. To date, five F4OR regional programmes have been delivered in the North East of Scotland, North East of England, East Anglia and Suffolk, alongside national programmes run across Scotland and UK-wide. Over 110 companies have been supported, with participants experiencing an average 28% increase in turnover and many securing a wide range of new contracts.