Furness: Energy Hub of the North West, Gateway to Britains Energy Coast
Nowhere within the UK is there a more strategically important area than the West Coast of England, and in particular for energy generation, the Furness Peninsula and its offshore coastline west of Barrow-in-Furness. Barrow is the Gateway to Britain's Energy Coast.
Our "unleashing growth in coastal Furness programme" funded by Big Lottery and DCLG under the coastal communities fund (see website section entitled coastal communities fund) seeks to strengthen innovation ansd supply chain activity in the peninsula.It also encourages energy related inward investment.
Barrow's port, airport, mix of companies involvement in oil, gas, onshore and offshore renewable energy, hydroelectric power, civil and defence nuclear power generation locally and globally and a presence of companies like Acrastyle delivering control and switchgear equipment complemented by a strong engineering and systems integration supply chain presence give Barrow and Furness a head start in contributing to realisation of the energy coast and coastal communities fund objectives to create sustainable jobs.
Barrow has the largest and most complex gas processing facility in the UK with capacity to harvest any natural gas yet undiscovered in and around the East Irish Sea as well as complete the depletion of existing gas fields.
Is a port able to service East Irish Sea exploration or development of gas and oil fields. The licensing area map shows the strategic location of Furness for new development. Map here
In addition Barrow is expected to be involved in several LNG import and offshore gas storage projects that could be developed in line with the Government's White Paper on investing in securing UK energy supplies through additional natural gas storage.
Combined with fossil fuel production it is a unique coastline known to be highly suitable for capturing wind energy from offshore turbines and with tidal conditions highly suitable to harness power from tide and wave technology.
Onshore power generation from both nuclear, Heysham Stations and several fossil fuel power stations is a well established industry along with a huge body of expertise to support the increasing diverse energy sector. There are also now schemes for up to four new nuclear sites in north Lancashire and Cumbria which will be serviceable from Barrow using its port and airport.
The town of Barrow and others in and around Cumbria are renowned for producing the high calibre of engineering skills so complimentary to the energy sector, particularly the nuclear industry. Furness Enterprise in collaboration with Furness College has a proven track record of training and placing engineering skills within the existing industries all of which have shown to have an appetite to adapt and grow within new and existing markets. To ensure the continued economic growth of the area the continued focus on Furness as the Energy Hub is vital to the long term social and economic stability of Cumbria.
Centrica's Sambhi Sees Wind Power From Irish Sea by 2017
Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Sarwjit Sambhi, managing director of power generation at Centrica Plc, talks with Bloombergs Francine Lacqua about the outlook for the companys offshore wind program after winning licenses from the British government. Sambhi, speaking from London, also discusses the prospects for the energy produced, the estimated costs of building wind turbines in the Irish Sea and the prospects for attracting outside investment. Centrica, RWE AG and Statoil ASA won licenses in Britains $120 billion offshore wind program, the worlds biggest, as the nation plans deep-water turbines to meet emission targets and help avert an energy shortfall. (Source: Bloomberg)
The Energy Resources already exploited the advantages of locating in Furness at the Gateway to Britain's Energy Coast
The coastal Furness area of NW England experiences strong winds, a 10metre tidal range, has extensive subsea natural gas reserves present in the East Irish Sea, and processed gas onshore at Rampside near Barrow where there is also a 229MW power station (gas fired). Hydro-electric power generation occurs at Haverthwaite and Coniston. Onshore and offshore wind power electricity generation occurs at sites including Millom, Askam, Ulverston and offshore Walney Island. Three further offshore wind farms are planned. The Energy Hub in Furness embraces the following energy resources:
- Offshore gas fields and subsea gas storage at the Morecambe Bay and Rivers complex and associated onshore processing and gas injection delivered through Centrica Energy and Stag Energy.
- Nuclear decommissioning is supported by several local firms involved at Sellafield and other sites in the UK.
- 300 and 500 people commute daily to work at Sellafield from Furness. Over 70 companies and research organisations also supply the global energy industry including nuclear decommissioning.
- Nuclear Power Generation design, development, test, commissioning of nuclear reactors at BAE SYSTEMS and provision of technical expertise worldwide.
- Electricity generation gas fired Roosecote 229MW power station.
- Electricity generation onshore wind farms at Kirkby, Millom, Harlock , Ireleth, BAE SYSTEMS, Tesco Barrow.
- Electricity generation East Irish Sea offshore wind farms at Barrow, and 3 more planned by Vattenfall (formerly Eclipse Energy), Dong and Scottish Power.
- Electricity generation hydro-electric power at Haverthwaite and Coniston.
Furness and South Cumbrian designed/manufactured products for the energy sector are in use throughout the UK and are exported to all the main energy provinces of the world, examples include:
Agrilek throughout the UK
Acrastyle in Hong Kong, Singapore and India.
Diamould in Russia and Brazil.
Gilbert Gilkes as worldwide suppliers of hydroturbines.
Expro in South Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.
Ametek with subsea cabling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gyrodata Drilling Automation Limited in Norwegian coastal waters.
Click here to download a list of Energy, Oil and Gas service companies in the Furness area and how you can see what they do by looking at their websites.
Centrica Energy's gas terminals at Rampside
These are located some 3km south east of Barrow-in-Furness and are one of Europes largest gas processing facilities.
The first terminal commenced operation in 1983, and the second in 1994. In the mid 2000s' a third terminal servicing the Rivers field went on-stream.
The terminals have capacity to process up to 15% of the UKs gas requirements. Two new gas compression facilities adjacent to the south terminal are proposed by Stag Energy and Centrica. Hoegh plan a gas metering facility servicing an LNG import facility.
Energy Prospects in and around Furness
Furness Enterprise evidence to the UK Government's Energy Review setting out our views on future energy, security of supply and development potential can be viewed here click here.
Opportunities for new energy related investment in Furness along neifghbouring coasts and off the coast of the Peninsula include:
Gas processing: Landing new Irish Sea gas fields at Rampside as set out in Barrow Borough Local Plan policy A12 on page 2 - 24 of the Local Plan.
Underseabed gas storage for peak period use.
LNG import by sea
Offshore wind power generation.
Onshore wind power generation.
Wave power equipment manufacture including current turbines.
Nuclear engineering - Module fabrication, systems integration and floatout.
- Nuclear power station development
Waste to energy schemes.
- Onshore construction support and maintenance bases at the port of Barrow.
Our broad views on energy investment priorities within Furness are set out below:
- Natural Gas We support further exploration and development for gas in the Irish Sea arising from DBERRs May 2008 and earlier rounds of licensing. These will help reduce UKs reliance on overseas imports and maximise the life of the gas processing assets at Barrows Rampside Terminals. New proposals for subsea storage facilities in Irish Sea salt cavities by Stag Energy, Centrica Energy and Hoegh for LNG imports would help safeguard strategic energy supplies for the UK and boost employment and strengthen established oil and gas supply chains in Furness.
- Nuclear We support development of four new proposals for nuclear generating capacity within Cumbria and north Lancashire and, where possible, utilisation of the skills and expertise that exists in Cumbria to design, test commission, build and operate nuclear powered electricity generating equipment for civil and defence applications. We also support transfer of skills and expertise in design, build and operation of defence related nuclear steam raising plant to the civil nuclear power industry. Rolls Royce and BAE SYSTEMS naval nuclear reactor expertise at Derby and Barrow is particularly important in this respect.
- Grid Networks We support reinforcement of grid networks where it will help realise new sources of energy generation. In particular we would support new initiatives such as reinforcement of the South Cumbria onshore power line and an offshore cross Morecambe Bay link. In 2001 the Lake District National Park Authority indicated support for an up-rated, overhead line in Cumbria to accommodate new generation locations.
- Renewable Energy we recognise this intermittent energy source contribution to the potential energy mix able to give UK security of supply. We favour offshore wave/wind energy where it contributes to economic regeneration and energy needs in the locality of such developments. By this we mean there should be active policies to require developers and their contractors to contribute to the socio-economic benefit of the area in which they operate, perhaps building on the principles enshrined in the way the nuclear decommissioning agency are required to operate. In the offshore renewable wind energy sector it is still difficult for UK firms to break into manufacture and design as much equipment is sourced overseas. DTIs own study into the industry highlighted the threat of the growing UK wind market being served by non UK wind turbine suppliers that locate sales offices only in the UK utilising their own manufacturing facilities and of overseas manufacturers choosing to import turbines from existing factories to use spare capacity before investing in new facilities in the UK. (DTI Renewables Supply Chain Gap Analysis, January 2004). In other countries there are examples of regions requiring developers to set up maintenance or production facilities and to benefit local economies. We believe the UK should look at acquiring large scale wind farm developments to deliver potential economic benefits to the areas they are situated in.
- Skills for the energy industry - it is vitally important that the UK sustains its energy sector skills base and looks to build up its nuclear energy generation plant skills base. The Energy Challenge is as much about skills retention and development as securing energy supplies. We therefore support proposals for developing an indigenous industrial base in renewable energy and proposals for a national nuclear skills academy. We drew attention earlier to the fact that Barrow has the only nuclear reactor assembly test and commissioning capability in the UK. Locally we are actively involved in supporting initiatives aimed at influencing young people in the 13-18 age group to consider career opportunities including apprenticeships in the energy sector. We have helped Walney School secure major sponsorship by Centrica Energy for the schools planned Engineering Status bid to the Department of Education.
- Energy related employment - is important in the Furness Assisted Area sustaining many jobs. We support measures designed to exploit the energy resources of the sub region and its coastline such as the gas processing assets at Barrow and in the Irish Sea.
Establish your energy development at the "Gateway to Britain's Energy Coast", call 01229 820611. To learn more about the discretionary Assisted Area grants potentially available to assist energy developments in Furness click here
Click here to download 2008-09 Task Force Briefing of Furness is part of Britain's Energy Coast
A new custom-built site will consolidate Expros Connectors & Measurements operations in Ulverston, UK