Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

PD Ports Seeks to Attract Manufacturers and Suppliers in the Renewable Energy Sector

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

PD Ports Seeks to Attract Manufacturers and Suppliers in the Renewable Energy Sector

Article excerpt

PD Ports is one of the major companies driving Teesside's ambition to become a centre of excellence for the European wind energy market.

In June PD Ports hosted a visit at the Port of Hartlepool by Charles Hendry, Minister of State for the Department for Energy and Climate Change. The visit was used as a chance to highlight the opportunities available within the burgeoning renewable sector, whilst also voicing the need for more clarity in the Government's renewable energy policy.

PD Ports says it is imperative that the Government has a direct, clear and positive view of the renewable sector, including Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs), funding and planning.

"There is a major reluctance to invest in this sector until the Government sets the level for ROCs which will determine what proportion of their power that UK electricity suppliers must generate from renewable sources," explains David Robinson, PD Ports' group chief executive officer.

"As long as the Government delays specifying the ROC level, it causes great uncertainty in the market and gives international companies no clear incentive to invest in the UK facilities," added David.

Despite these restrictions, the Port of Hartlepool is already building a reputation as a centre of wind energy expertise on its 50ha site. The port hosts JDR Cable Systems, a leading cable manufacturer for renewable energy projects, and Heerema Fabrication Group, which specialises in the engineering and fabrication of large and complex structures, mainly for the offshore oil & gas sectors.

The visit was organised by Iain Wright, MP for Hartlepool, who is a supporter of the initiative, called Chain Reaction, which was launched by PD Ports in 2009 to attract companies in the renewable energy sector to establish themselves in the area, bringing much needed investment

and jobs.

Earlier in the year, Iain Wright spoke of the Chain Reaction Group, saying: "Offshore wind energy generation aims to deliver a quarter of the UK electricity needs by 2020. I think this industry will provide the main source of employment and prosperity for Teesside, and Hartlepool in particular, for the next fifty years, but we have to grasp the challenges and opportunities now. …

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