Encouraging the local supply chain
We have used, and will continue to use, local businesses and companies where possible in the development, construction and operation of the wind farm.
In developing the project proposal, a number of contracts were placed with local suppliers for example to provide, install and remove the met mast, for geotechnical site investigations, ecological survey vessels, guard boats, fishing industry representatives, public relations support, and for offshore ecology survey work.
Working in partnership with local authorities, we formed a Supply Chain Steering Group to support a Supply Chain Project led by Marine South East (MSE). This group identified the local supply chain and aimed to maximise the opportunities for local businesses and companies to be able to tender for Rampion work.
More than 600 local businesses were identified, and invited to Meet the Buyer Event held prior to construction, to seek local content in the construction and operation of the wind farm. Almost 300 suppliers, predominantly from Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire attended the event to find out about the potential opportunities that could arise from construction and operation & maintenance contracts.
A further three focused Meet the Buyer Events were held in 2015-16 highlighting opportunities for subcontractors.
Rampion also launched the web portal, www.sussexwindenergy.org.uk, to provide Rampion updates, promote local grant programmes and highlight opportunities for recruitment and skills development. The web portal remains active and allows local businesses to register their details on a suppliers’ database, to express an interest in supplying goods and services to Rampion.
To facilitate a greater amount of local content and increase in jobs, we encouraged our lead contractors to detail in their tender responses the extent to which they propose to use UK and local content to meet the required scope of work. The local suppliers’ database is highlighted in the invitation to tender documents and contractors are asked to identify any proposed UK and local suppliers in their tender responses.
In supporting local content for operations and maintenance related jobs, we have placed local job adverts, and required main contractors to advertise locally to recruit technicians where possible. We have also recruited and continue to develop a number of apprentices into full time operations staff.