Local jobs set to thrive in the renewables sector

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

Following the recent announcement by Able UK regarding jobs at its Hartlepool and Dogger Bank sites, the boss of a thriving Tees energy safety company is predicting a further boost for the region over the coming years as some of the UK’s biggest renewables projects continue to build momentum on the North-East coast.

For many years touted as the biggest potential windfarm project in Europe, Dogger Bank is a raised bed on the North Sea the size of Yorkshire, which will become home to hundreds of turbines to help power the country through renewable energy.

Graham Tyerman, whose Stockton-based company Steel River Consultants, has been growing impressively through the current pandemic, is confident the region will thrive on the other side as thousands of jobs are created on the banks of the Tees and the Tyne, thanks to this huge project.

He said: “The North-East hub is in a brilliant position to support the Round Three projects of Sophia and Dogger Bank.

“The Port of Tyne has been selected as a base for some of the big projects, while the cabling routes and sub-station work will come into Teesside via Redcar.

“There will be an influx of construction and engineering work and I hope to see some of the service sectors thrive again to support the infrastructure needed for the contractors who will need to come to our region to work on projects over the next decade at least.”

Steel River Consultants was set up in 2010 and is the biggest independent safety management company in the region.

The company reported a £1.2m turnover in 2019 and is on course to surpass its target of £1.75m this year.

Thanks to global contracts, Steel River has begun to expand its workforce and is considering plans to open offices in London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Ireland within the next 12 months.

Over the years, Steel River Consultants has overseen more than 700 projects in 10 countries including Italy, China, the USA, Norway and Denmark, working with clients in a variety of sectors, ranging from renewable and petrochemical to social housing and insurance.

The company has grown through the pandemic as it had an influx of new and old clients needing guidance on continuous new safety procedures implemented by the government, while work on forthcoming projects never slowed.

Graham explained: “We have had record sales for this period and have had to take more staff on. We have clients who are working on projects which aren’t due to start being built until 2025 – none of this has stopped.

“When I set up this company, I could see projects with 20 and 30 years of longevity. While this current situation has had an impact on some things such as how we work in the office environment, the long-term projects on renewable energy solutions have not stopped.

“It is large-scale operations such as Dogger Bank, Scots Wind and the magnificent TeesWorks – the former SSI site spearheaded by (Tees Valley mayor) Ben Houchen and his team – which should ensure there is a bright future on the jobs front in this region.”

One of Steel Rivers’ newest recruits is highly experienced industry specialist Alan Hartfield, who joined the company as a senior safety advisor.

Graham added: “Alan Hartfield is an experienced offshore safety advisor who has previously worked on a number of offshore projects with Van Oord (MPI Stokesley).

“His knowledge of offshore operations and medical requirements are invaluable to our business growth and development, and Alan is already supporting offshore wind projects in the Scottish sector.”