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Offshore wind specialist wins export deal with UKEF support

Posted on 08 Jun 2021 and read 408 times
Offshore wind specialist wins export deal with UKEF supportInternational Trade Minister, Graham Stuart, last week visited Livingston-based FoundOcean, the world’s largest offshore construction grouting specialist, to announce a major new export contract won by the firm which will create 30 new green jobs in the local area.

The company has won a contract to provide the foundations for a 100-turbine offshore wind farm in Taiwan after receiving financial support from UK Export Finance (UKEF), the Government’s export credit agency.

The company will provide the foundation grouting to enable wind turbines to be secured to the seabed to form the wind farm which will produce over 1GW of power.

Minister for Exports Graham Stuart said: “The UK has one of the world’s best export credit agencies in UKEF, which will help Scottish exporters like FoundOcean as we level up every part of the UK and ‘build back greener’ from the pandemic.

“UKEF is helping us to accelerate the transition to clean energy, which will bring prosperity and a wide range of sustainable jobs to Scotland.”

Thriving hub of industry

David Duguid, UK Government Minister for Scotland, said: “Seeing a pioneering Scottish company like FoundOcean win this contract underlines UKEF’s important role in showcasing Scotland as a thriving hub of industry on the world stage.

“As well as creating 30 jobs, this work demonstrates the global potential for Scottish businesses in supporting clean energy, part of the UK Government’s ambitious ten-point plan for an industrial green revolution.”

FoundOcean has transitioned towards renewable energy over the last decade, and is now supplying some of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.

Around 80% of FoundOcean’s businesses now comes from renewable energy projects and the firm now has clients across the globe in South East Asia, the Gulf of Mexico and the Netherlands, and it anticipates that over half of its contracts will be overseas this year.

Jim Bell, CEO of FoundOcean, said: “Our business has been running for over fifty years and in the last few, we have managed the transition to mainly renewable energy. Thanks to UKEF’s support, we have been able to fulfil a major contract, grow our business and create vital jobs for people across the country. We are so proud to play a part in powering Taiwan’s own green energy drive.”

The UK is the world’s largest offshore wind market with 10.4GW of total installed capacity, and the UK Government is helping companies export their expertise to new, emerging markets.

UKEF has provided £500 million of financing for three offshore wind projects in Taiwan since late 2019, helping to unlock the export potential of the UK’s offshore wind sector.

Offshore wind projects often require a performance bond – ensuring completion of the project – at up to 15% of the contract value before work is even commenced. This would have meant putting a significant deposit forward and, due to the scale of the Taiwan project, FoundOcean was unable to arrange this through its bank. UKEF stepped in with bond support that enabled FoundOcean to fulfil the contract.

Craig Green, UKEF export finance manager, said: “Businesses like FoundOcean are central to the world’s renewable energy revolution, and UKEF is here to ensure they can export their specialist products across the globe, get paid, and create more jobs to support the transition.”