North East fabrication and engineering powerhouse – Francis Brown – is making its mark in the global offshore wind sector following a series of prestigious contract wins.
Based in Stockton on Tees, the company has successfully secured contracts with major fabrication specialist BiFab to deliver Boat Landing Access Equipment and global supplier of subsea equipment SMD to Cable Handling Deck Equipment
Most recently Francis Brown was commissioned by Ecosse Subsea Systems to fabricate and install a 700Te carousel which will be used for the storage of spare cables for UK offshore windfarm projects. The company successfully delivered the project in only a matter of 11 weeks.
Francis Brown’s CEO and NOF Energy Board Member, Jamie Brown, strongly believes that the region has an abundance of opportunities to deliver its leading services to the global offshore wind sector with many local businesses, he believes, having the foundations already in place to provide support for recently announced major projects.
“The North East is a hub of engineering and manufacturing excellence and the capabilities we have in the region are phenomenal,” Jamie said. “With impending offshore wind projects, such as Dogger Bank, we need to fly the flag for the region and showcase that we really are a force to be reckoned with.
“With a combination of experience, expertise and access to the latest technologies, right through to skilled workforces and fantastic infrastructure, the region’s service providers can certainly facilitate the groundbreaking offshore wind projects that will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of energy in the UK.”
As a crucial part of the energy mix and industrial strategy, offshore wind currently accounts for five per cent of the electricity in the UK, with this figure set to double by 2021.
Reported by Carbon Brief to be one of the cheapest sources for electricity generation at £57.50 per megawatt hour (MWh), the government has recently announced an investment of up to £730 million per year this Parliament for offshore wind and other less established technologies.
Jamie said: “Significant – and very welcomed – investments are being made into this growing sector. This has been a real boost for companies in the region, particularly those who have historically operated solely in the oil and gas sector.
“Francis Brown has always diversified across a range of sectors and we believe that we have a strong track record of identifying where new opportunities are. As such, through already securing – and successfully delivering – a string of contracts for the offshore wind sector, we want to continue to win work in this growing sector, alongside other progressive companies in the region.”
Most recently Francis Brown announced it has had one of its most successful years to date, forecasting a 30% growth turnover, whilst also hitting a milestone of 100 staff.
Established in 1903, Francis Brown has carved a reputation for world class engineering and welding excellence. With the company’s extensive experience and capabilities, a project can be managed from concept right through to final assembly, installation and inspection, as such delivering a full turn key solution. The company operates from its head office in Stockton and has specialist manufacturing facilities including state of the art workshops.