A study by Cable Consulting International has found that export cable supply is not keeping pace with the demands of the offshore cable industry.
Crown Estate head of offshore wind Huub den Rooijen believes the study demonstrates that there is "a strong business opportunity for new suppliers in the global export cables market as well as improvements developers could make to support this essential part of the supply chain".
The study provided for UK seabed landlord, the Crown Estate, found that "current manufacturing capacity does not meet the needs of developers, both in UK and in the rest of the world, based on a range of offshore wind deployment rates".
It said: "With global developers providing a strong offshore wind programme, there is an outstanding opportunity for new suppliers in the market, but there is a need for industry to improve demand forecasting and reduce lead times to increase supply capacity."
The report said that between 2012 and 2018 the expected demand will outstrip supply by 33%, with a peak shortfall of 85% in 2015, according to Re-News Europe.
"The introduction of new manufacturing facilities will reduce the gap but, given the lead time for factory construction and commissioning, action is required now. Giving existing manufacturers and new entrants the confidence that the UK is fully committed to offshore development is key," it concluded.
Huub den Rooijen added that a failure to bring in new suppliers will be detrimental to the UK’s offshore wind ambitions: "It’s vital that there is a sufficient and strong supply chain, as without it the UK could be delayed on delivering its world leading offshore wind programme, creating jobs, inward investment and providing an alternative, secure energy supply.”
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