The Wood Foundation – set up by local oil magnate Sir Ian Wood – has donated £4.5 million to Robert Gordon University to ensure it becomes a global centre of excellence in oil and gas and remote healthcare.
The Oil & Gas Institute, which will receive £3.1 million of the donation, aims to become a world-class centre of excellence in oil and gas, building on the thinking, creativity, experience and facilities which have been built up through more than 40 years’ experience with North Sea oil and gas.
Prof Ferdinand von Prondzynski and Sir Ian Wood
This follows the announcement of the foundation’s £500,000 donation to the university’s Oil and Gas Institute in 2013.The university will match fund the donation with a major investment of its own and seek further support from other donors.
The Institute will develop four distinct knowledge centres in drilling, operations, decommissioning and business excellence. These will be led by industry experts and academics who will work closely with industry on the research and education required to maximise recovery of the world’s hydrocarbon resources and to make decommissioning commercially and environmentally effective.
Sir Ian Wood said: “RGU is renowned for its strengths in oil and gas and remote healthcare, both of which play a vital role in our local economy. The Wood Foundation is pleased to be able to support the University in its quest to build globally recognised centres of excellence through the development of international research, bespoke industry solutions, collaborative research and Masters levels’ programmes.
“By attracting industry experts and internationally renowned academics to lead the teaching, consulting and research programmes, the Oil & Gas Institute will be able to provide a valuable resource for the industry world-wide.
“More importantly, it will help secure Aberdeen’s future as an international oil and gas hub long after our own resources have been depleted.”
Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, said: “We are extremely grateful for the huge generosity of The Wood Foundation. Sir Ian’s leadership in the oil and gas industry is universally recognised, most recently in the response to the Wood Review on maximising recovery in the UKCS.
“It is hugely significant to RGU to have his support as we develop our ambitious plans for the Institute and create investment and continuing prosperity in the North-East of Scotland.”
The initial donation of £500,000 by the Wood Foundation allowed RGU to establish the Oil & Gas Institute and appoint its first director, Paul de Leeuw, who said: “The knowledge centres, which will be led by industry experts recruited from the sector, will provide the overall direction for RGU’s oil and gas teaching and research programmes.
“With the UK Continental Shelf decommissioning market growing rapidly in the next few years we see this as a key area for RGU to build its capability in terms of both teaching and research.
“Alongside the knowledge centres the Institute will recruit teams of leading academics to pursue market-orientated world class research making it a significant player and employer in the sector.”
The Wood Foundation was set up in 2007 to invest both money and expertise in making a lasting difference to people and communities in Africa and Scotland by helping them to help themselves.
Source: Scottish Energy News
Buoyant oil and gas pumps £35bn into UK economy
British oil and gas companies serving some of the world’s biggest fuel names like BP and Shell make up £35 billion worth of revenue to the British economy.
That’s according to an extensive new survey of the UK supply chain which finds there is “strong demand” for its skills and products with international opportunities growing.
As many as 200,000 people were directly employed in the supply chain in 2012, with hundreds of smaller businesses all supporting the work of 14 major ones such as Amec and Wood Group.
The analysis from EY commissioned by trade body Oil & Gas UK maps out the sector from engineering, drilling and well design to marine and subsea.
Out of 3,000 firms which operate in the UK, the report narrowed its field to 1,585 depending on whether they were UK-registered, made at least half of its turnover from upstream oil and gas and if they had filed accounts in Companies House in 2012.
One of the experts behind the report, Alex Milward, Partner in EY’s oil and gas practice said: “There’s two parts to this: one is local demand which represents approximately 36% of the £35 billion, plus also the UK has a really strong reputation for engineering excellence and exports about 40% of that revenue to countries around the world such as Africa, the Middle East, Russia.”
The new work comes hot on the heels of a Bank of Scotland report at the start of April which suggests oil and gas firms plan to hire 39,000 more workers in the next two years.
Taken together the reports could add to the growing confidence of the British sector which looked to be in a slump just a few years ago.
But this week’s report also flags up fierce competition on the international scene with British businesses concerned by some barriers, from a lack of skilled workers to “inadequate” infrastructure.
Read the full article here http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/04/24/buoyant-oil-and-gas-pumps-35bn-into-uk-economy/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=buoyant-oil-and-gas-pumps-35bn-into-uk-economy
Source: Energy Live News
£15m fund to cut costs of deep water wind turbines
Researchers and wind power firms will be able to vie for cash from a £15million fund to develop new, less expensive foundations for offshore wind farms.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced the fund for prototype turbine foundations in water depths greater than 30 metres earlier today.
Foundation structures currently account for around 16% of total offshore wind project costs. Estimates suggest more innovation in this area could lead to a 9% saving.
This would be a step towards slashing the cost of offshore wind generation by around a third to £100 per megawatt hours (MWh) by 2020, as outlined in the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force report, published in June last year.
Read the full article here http://www.energylivenews.com/2013/04/25/15m-fund-to-cut-costs-of-deep-water-wind-turbines/
Source: Energy News Live
Plans to make heating networks ‘Britain’s third energy utility’
Plans are afoot to make heating systems which are shared by local communities Britain’s ‘third energy utility’.
Local authorities, community representatives and industry developers met last week to back a co-ordinated plan of action which would see district heat operate alongside gas and electricity networks.
There’s a ‘pipeline’ of such district projects which could spell investment in community energy infrastructure of more than £300 million – and that’s just in the early days, delegates at the Combined Heat and Power Association’s conference heard on Friday.
Traditionally Scandinavian nations have championed district heating schemes but industry experts believe the UK could be up there with the best – with a bit of elbow grease and publicity.
Paul Voss, from the international district heating equipment supplier Danfoss said: “There is no question that the United Kingdom could be Europe’s fastest growing district heating market within the next few years… But if we want to enjoy the position of the nation’s third energy utility we will need to work hard together to build the confidence of consumers and investors alike.”
Source: Energy News Live
Magnox decommissioning manoeuvres
The process to remove fuel from the reactor of unit 1 at the shut down Oldbury nuclear power plant has started. Meanwhile, Berkeley’s last two massive boilers have been removed from the site for recycling in Sweden.
Just over a year since electricity generation ended at the Oldbury 1 Magnox reactor, the operation to remove all the used fuel from unit has started. The defuelling process is expected to take 4-5 years to complete.
Oldbury’s fuel handling machine (Image: Magnox)
Defuelling of Oldbury unit 2, which shut down in June 2011, began last year and is already 16% complete.
Magnox Ltd, which manages the site on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), said: “Since Oldbury ended electricity generation, preparations have been underway to prepare the reactor for the defuelling phase of its lifecycle, including removal of hazardous operational gases and chemicals, modifications to the equipment, staff training and reorganization.”
Fuel removed from the reactors are stored in the site’s cooling ponds and then transferred by rail to Sellafield in heavily shielded flasks for reprocessing.
Defuelling both reactors and sending it to Sellafield will remove over 99% of the radiation hazard from the Oldbury site.
Oldbury site director Mike Heaton commented, “There are over 25,000 elements in the reactor, so this is a major step forward towards decommissioning the site, but there is a long way to go.”
After most of the structures at Oldbury have been removed, the site will enter the ‘care and maintenance’ stage of decommissioning around 2027, allowing the remaining radioactivity to decay naturally. Final site clearance activities are scheduled between 2092 and 2101.
Built in the 1960s and among the first generation of UK reactors, both of the Magnox reactors at Oldbury were originally scheduled to shut down at the end of 2008. However, the NDA requested permission from the regulator to operate beyond that date, earning revenue to help pay for decommissioning.
The last two of 15 boilers, or heat exchangers, have been transported from the site of the Berkeley nuclear power plant and begun their journey to Sweden for recycling.
Site director Steve McNally said, “The early removal of the boilers is a great achievement for the site. It’s not only a huge visual change but also takes the site a step closer to care and maintenance; which is our goal. It also means we have dealt with the waste now, rather than leaving it for the next generation.”
Source: World Nuclear News
UK manufacturer wins E ON’s offshore contract
Energy supplier E.ON has awarded a contract to a British construction company to provide the foundation pieces for its offshore wind farm.
TAG Energy Solutions will manufacture 16 monopolies and transition pieces, which form the base upon which the wind turbine stands, for E.ON’s £736 million Humber Gateway wind farm. The Teesside based company is believed to be the first UK manufacturer to secure the deal in British waters, which is expected to create an additional 60 jobs.
Situated 8km off the Yorkshire Coast close to the mouth of the Humber Estuary, the wind farm will consist of 73 turbines that will generate up to 219MW of electricity, enough to power up to 170,000 homes.
Read the full story here http://www.energylivenews.com/2013/03/01/uk-manufacturer-wins-e-on%E2%80%99s-offshore-contract/
Source: Energy Live News
Clear British firm to help South Africa increase renewable generation
Electronics giant Siemens has started the construction of two 50MW solar projects in South Africa – of which the majority of shares are owned by a British firm.
Located in the Northern Cape, the two projects are part of a €500 million (£440.6m) investment, which also includes a 138MW wind project.
UK power company Globeleq, which is the majority shareholder and works towards developing energy solutions for emerging markets, won the bid for the projects and said they are part of its plans to deliver clean and reliable energy to the people of South Africa.
The projects are expected to supply enough renewable energy to power more than 156,000 homes every year and cut around 580,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. They are part of the Government of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Programme and are claimed to be among the “very first large scale” renewable power plants to be built in the country.
Source: Energy News Live