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Shetland firms sign up for contract opportunities

September 22nd 2020

More than 70 businesses in Shetland have so far registered their services on a free online portal used by large developers to publicise contract opportunities.

The Open4Business Highlands and Islands (O4B H&I) portal is owned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and managed by Inverness Chamber of Commerce.

HIE and the chamber recently appealed for more Shetland firms to register so they can benefit from contracts in sectors such as energy and construction, particularly in relation to the Viking Wind Farm and the Shetland HVDC transmission link.

This appeal was followed by a webinar for companies to learn more about how the portal works and some of the current opportunities listed.  The recorded webinar video is available online.

Viking Energy, SSE Renewables and SSEN Transmission are committed to maximising the involvement of Shetland-based contractors and sub-contractors in building and operating the 103-turbine development and the Shetland HVDC transmission link.

At least five major businesses have already secured contracts on the pre-construction works.

Over the next two years, SSE and principal contractors RJ McLeod and BAM will be advertising contract opportunities linked to the wind farm and transmission link’s construction, from late September.  

Shetland-based businesses so far registered, include civil engineering firms, plant hire companies, transport and haulage providers, accommodation providers, consultants and fencers.

Once registered, small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can see what opportunities are available to bid for in their local area as well as advertise their own contracts.

Sandra McCaughey, O4B programme manager, said it was encouraging to see so many more Shetland firms signing up to the portal. She added:

“O4B is delighted with the response so far from Shetland-based businesses. Viking Energy, SSE Renewables and SSEN are committed to maximise the involvement of Shetland-based contractors and sub-contractors in this development and principal contractors RJ McLeod and BAM Nuttall both have strong track records of using the O4B portal to advertise contract opportunities.

“As works progress over the next two years Shetland businesses will have ongoing visibility of contract opportunities as they arise, and I would urge any businesses not yet registered on O4B to sign up now.  We are also delighted to have the support of Business Gateway Shetland who are providing business readiness support to Shetland-based businesses registering on the portal.”

Katrina Wiseman, HIE’s Shetland area team leader, added:

“Shetland businesses have decades of experience working both in the energy industry, and in providing products and services to large scale infrastructure projects.  They have a great deal of skills and expertise to support the Viking Energy developments.  It is great to see so many registering on the portal and we would encourage others to do so to access the opportunities.”

Darren Main, project manager for BAM Nuttall also commented:

“We would encourage local companies and suppliers to register and learn more about the opportunities available. The webinar recording also includes an initial list of the types of sub-contractors we are currently looking for.  Registering with O4B also means companies will be kept up-to-date with opportunities as the project progresses through the construction stages.”

Any queries regarding registration should be directed to Sandra McCaughey at [email protected] or 01463 723735.  RJ Macleod at [email protected] SSER/VEWF at [email protected] Bam Nuttall at [email protected]