Multi million pound green energy deal for Lancaster firm

First Subsea
First Subsea

A Lancaster-based engineering firm has signed a multi-million pound contract with a leading renewable energy company.

Founded in 1994, First Subsea, based on the White Lund Industrial Estate and specialises in mechanical connectors, enjoyed huge success in the oil and gas industry for many years.

However, the fall in oil price caused sales to dwindle and the company needed to find a new strategic direction.

In 2014, First Subsea obtained government funding to develop their patented technology for use in the offshore wind sector and on Monday February 20 2017 it signed a multi-million pound contract with DONG Energy, the global leader in offshore wind.

The order for 151 Cable Protection System units, will be the first major UK contract in renewables for First Subsea and will allow the business to diversify into this growing market. The units will be used for Hornsea Project One offshore windfarm off the Yorkshire coast, which when built will be the biggest windfarm in the world.

John Shaw, managing director, said: “This contract agreement is the culmination of years of hard work at First Subsea and a very proud moment for us all. We recognised the growth of the renewables industry, particularly offshore wind, when we applied for the grant to develop our processes a few years ago. We knew it would be hugely beneficial in the long term if we were able to diversify.

“Delivering on this contract with a global player like DONG Energy will demonstrate our capabilities to the rest of the offshore wind industry, both in the UK and hopefully wider into Europe too. I can’t stress how much of a great opportunity this is for our business.”

Duncan Clark, Hornsea Project One programme director, said: “Offshore wind development in the UK is thriving and we’re seeing a lot of firms, and also skilled people, diversify from oil and gas into this rapidly growing industry. DONG Energy is also an example of this, having been oil and gas focussed for many years we recently announced our intention to sell our oil and gas division, as well as a pledge to be coal-free by 2023.

“This trend is not only good for business it’s a responsible approach to the energy transition, so we’re delighted to see other firms recognising this too. The UK is the global leader in offshore wind and to maintain that status, we need to develop a strong supply chain here, so it’s both refreshing and reassuring to see that businesses of all sizes are able to adapt their expertise to venture into this wealth of opportunity.”

Hornsea Project One will be built 120km off the Yorkshire coast. It will be the first offshore windfarm with a capacity over 1GW and capable of powering well over one million homes. Onshore construction has started and the windfarm is expected to be operational by 2020. The offshore wind farm will use 7 megawatt wind turbines, with each one 190 metres tall – larger than the Gherkin building in London.