13 European companies participate in a business mission to the main offshore wind event in the United States

Submitted by Ander González on 15 November 2022

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In the last week of April 2022, ELBE Alliance organised a business mission to the United States focused on the offshore wind sector, with 26 participants from 13 Basque companies. On the first two days, the companies visited the Virginia Beach area in the state of Virginia, before travelling to Atlantic City (New Jersey) for IPF 2022, the largest offshore wind energy trade fair in the USA. The mission was successful in making first contacts and reinforcing existing contacts in the front-line offshore wind states in the USA.

The US wind industry is urgently looking for companies that can manufacture and supply the components needed to develop the country's target of 30 GW of offshore wind. Many areas have been identified and there are a few developers of wind farms with projects in the pipeline, but states are now desperately looking for companies with the know-how required to manufacture the components needed for these wind farms. Their focus is on European companies, which see the US market as a unique opportunity and a great challenge for expanding their business.

The aim of the mission was to give European SMEs the opportunity to make their first contacts in the United States and to consolidate those they had left halfway before the pandemic arrived. The 13 companies that were part of the mission were: ALERION, ESTEYCO, FORJAS IRIZAR, GRI, HAIZEA WIND, HINE, IDOM, KIMUA, LIFTRA, LUMIKER, NAUTILUS, NAVACEL and NERVION NAVAL-OFFSHORE.

To this end, thanks to the collaboration in recent years with Virginia Beach and the US Business Network for Offshore Wind (USBNOW), ELBE Alliance co-organised a number of meetings and visits for the mission.

This mission was divided into two parts. The first was a visit to Virginia Beach, where its economic development department organised a number of meetings with Dominion Energy (the state utility and main developer of offshore wind farms in the state), Avangrid (a company owned by Iberdrola, which is also developing an offshore wind farm off the coast of Virginia) and various important players in the region, such as business associations and organisations promoting jobs focused on offshore wind energy. In addition, they also organised a visit to the port of Virginia Beach, where they are planning to adapt an area in order to develop the value chain required to build future offshore wind farms. This part of the mission also included a delegation from the UK, which also provided an opportunity to foster collaboration with UK companies in a joint effort to enter the US market.

The second part took place at the largest offshore wind trade fair in the USA, the International Partnering Forum (IPF) 2022. This year's event was the largest to date, with over 3,000 attendees, more than 250 speakers and 300 exhibitors. All of the companies that came on the mission had various opportunities and a B2B tool to meet US companies and entities. In addition, ELBE Alliance organised a number of specific meetings for the European companies within the framework of the IPF with the support of BTI, where they met companies and entities from the state of Virginia, New Jersey, the USBNOW association and the offshore wind farm developer Simply Blue.

The European delegation played a leading role on the last day of the fair, as it organised a workshop to present the capabilities of the floating wind power sector within the framework of the fair with more than 30 participants, in which ESTEYCO, IDOM, NAUTILUS and NERVION NAVAL-OFFSHORE took part. ELBE Alliance also presented its network and the capabilities of the European ORE industry on several occasions during the mission, including at the floating workshop and at a breakfast organised for international delegations, sharing a panel with delegations from the UK and Germany.

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