Oil and gas skills “will be necessary” in offshore wind, according to the head of TotalEnergies
One of the UK bosses of TotalEnergies said there were “strong synergies” between its offshore oil and gas and wind operations, particularly in the North Sea.
Jean-Luc Guiziou, managing director of E&P UK within the French supermajor, says there are a lot of crossovers between the two sectors, including the scale of projects, environmental studies and underwater activities.
He went on to stress that skills developed in oil and gas over the past 50 years “will be needed and used” in offshore wind.
Speaking at a TotalEnergies Scottish supply chain engagement event, which was attended by more than 300 companies, Mr Guiziou said there would be a “convergence of skills and competencies”.
He added that this was also the case at the corporate level, with many companies now having a foothold in both camps.
The networking event was launched as a result of TotalEnergies confirming that they would be bidding on ScotWind’s offshore rental process.
It also included speakers from the Green Investment Group (GIG) and Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG), partners of the consortium of the company headquartered in Paris.
ScotWind is closing applications today, and winners are expected to be announced next year.
Philippe de Cacqueray, head of UK offshore wind at TotalEnergies, said the company’s bid consists of “several gigawatts” of “fixed and floating bottom” developments.
TotalEnergies renamed itself Total at the start of the year to reflect its commitment to energy transition and the diversification of its energy portfolio.
It aims to develop 35 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power generation capacity by 2025, rising to 100 GW by 2030, with the ultimate goal of becoming a net zero enterprise by 2050.
Mr Guiziou described the North Sea industry as one of the UK’s “crown jewels”, but said it had to undergo a “radical transformation”.
He said: “The energy transition is now the most important part of planning for the future of the industry. This means that our industry is in the spotlight like never before and is being vigorously challenged by a wide range of stakeholders.
“At TotalEnergies, we believe we can respond positively to these questions by committing to a successful energy transition. Simply put, our strategy is to increase energy and reduce emissions.
“The world’s population continues to grow and billions of people need access to reliable and affordable energy. Less emissions because climate change is a reality that we must tackle quickly.
He added: “Our roadmap to 2030 is not that of a business in decline, on the contrary, our goal is to grow, driven by natural gas and renewable activities.
“We are entering a decade of transformation and this is a huge opportunity for all of us.”
TotalEnergies is already present in the offshore wind market north of the border thanks to its majority stake in the Seagreen development.
Under construction about 17 miles off the coast of Angus, the wind farm will be Scotland’s largest when completed in 2022.
SSE Renewables owns the other 49% interest in the development of 114 turbines.
In the recent Crown Estate rental cycle, which spanned England and Wales, TotalEnergies bagged areas in the southern North Sea, alongside GIG.
The two companies are also teaming up in South Korea to co-develop a “major portfolio” of floating offshore wind projects.
M. de Cacqueray: “This (offshore wind power) is no longer a new profession for TotalEnergies. Our ambition is to become one of the top five renewable energy companies on the planet over the next decade.
“We are not starting from a standing start. Earlier this year, we secured 1.5 GW in Crown Estate Round 4. In Scotland, we have a 51% stake in Seagreen, which will be Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm with 1.1 GW. .
“Beyond the UK, our portfolio includes projects in France, Taiwan and South Korea. “