IN BUSI­NESS ‘Deal is trib­ute to skill and am­bi­tion of firm’

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - In Business - BY JOHN MCDOUGALL john.mcdougall@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @JMacD1988

THE Metro Mayor has hailed a Widnes firm’s multi-mil­lion pound ex­port con­tract as a pow­er­ful mes­sage about the Liver­pool City Re­gion’s fu­ture eco­nomic po­ten­tial.

Hutchin­son Engi­neer­ing, on Everite Road, has signed a deal with tech­nol­ogy sup­plier, MHI Ves­tas.

It will in­volve the Widnes-based op­er­a­tion pro­vid­ing es­sen­tial tech­ni­cal com­po­nents for Dan­ish re­new­ables com­pany DONG En­ergy’s wind farms across Europe.

On a visit to Hutchin­son’s new quay­side op­er­a­tion at Garston docks to see the despatch of their lat­est ex­port or­der, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram paid trib­ute to the firm’s pi­o­neer­ing ap­proach in se­cur­ing the con­tract from an in­ter­na­tional in­dus­try-leader.

He said: “This is the re­new­able en­ergy equiv­a­lent of send­ing coals to New­cas­tle. It’s an in­cred­i­ble tes­ti­mony to the skill and am­bi­tion of Hutchin­son’s that they are ex­port­ing their tech­nol­ogy to the coun­try that prac­ti­cally in­vented wind en­ergy.

“But it’s also a very elo­quent case study about the kind of new econ­omy that we can build in this city re­gion.

“We’re util­is­ing our geog­ra­phy to gen­er­ate re­new­able en­ergy at Burbo Bank, and now we’re de­vel­op­ing the skills and har­ness­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­per­tise to ex­port ad­vanced engi­neer­ing prod­ucts to the world.”

The Metro Mayor views the con­tract as ev­i­dence of what he calls a vir­tu­ous eco­nomic cir­cle that also in­volves ma­jor in­vest­ment by DONG En­ergy in off-shore wind in­fra­struc­ture as well as sup­ply chain and skills devel­op­ment at their new op­er­a­tions cen­tre in Wir­ral.

Mr Rotheram said: “We need to be am­bi­tious and smart in the way we plan in­fra­struc­ture and in­vest­ment to fa­cil­i­tate these eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“That’s why we want to har­ness the power of the Mersey for re­new­able en­ergy, and make this the most dig­i­tally con­nected city re­gion in the UK.

“Trains and canals were the in­fra­struc­ture that pow­ered the first In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion and it is dig­i­tal ca­pac­ity and re­new­able en­ergy that will be the plat­form for the Fourth In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion.” ●

Hutchin­son’s man­ag­ing director, Dean Drinkwa­ter said the project is the ‘first of many larger fab­ri­ca­tions’ for their client, is the fourth or­der from MHI Ves­tas for DONG En­ergy, and is also the largest to date.

He said: “Through our con­tin­ued col­lab­o­ra­tion with ABP and Ar­mitt at Garston Docks, we can stream­line our ex­port ca­pac­ity and fur­ther boost em­ploy­ment and growth in the city re­gion.”

Hutchin­son’s suc­cess­ful move into the off-shore wind sup­ply chain has been as­sisted by the Liver­pool City Re­gion LEP which has helped the com­pany with market anal­y­sis, prod­uct devel­op­ment and key in­tro­duc­tions to MHI Ves­tas and DONG En­ergy, as well as pro­vid­ing sup­port for a funding bid for the Garston fa­cil­ity.

Liver­pool City Re­gion LEP man­ag­ing director, Mark Bas­nett, said: “This is a great story and an ex­am­ple of how we can match our skills with nat­u­ral as­sets to forge new eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Our coastal lo­ca­tion at­tracted in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture and now that in­fra­struc­ture is fa­cil­i­tat­ing busi­ness growth and new high skilled em­ploy­ment.

“The eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity aris­ing from this col­lab­o­ra­tion now ex­tends across Sefton, Wir­ral, Liver­pool and Hal­ton.

“It’s a city re­gion work­ing to­gether to re­new and re-in­vent its eco­nomic fu­ture.”

Al­lan Seed­house is man­ag­ing di­rec- tor of Ar­mitt Group, which has been in­stru­men­tal in sup­port­ing Hutchin­son’s op­er­a­tion at Garston.

He said: “Our com­mer­cial team has worked with Hutchin­son’s to fa­cil­i­tate the lease of our Quay­side Steel store which makes the pre­fect start­ing point for Hutchin­son’s en­try into the off­shore fab­ri­ca­tion market.

“By of­fer­ing a waterside build­ing com­bined with steve­dor­ing, ves­sel agency and char­ter­ing sup­port Ar­mitt en­abled Hutchin­son to of­fer a fully ser­viced pack­age to their cus­tomers and win these cru­cial con­tracts.

“We are de­lighted to have been an in­te­gral part of that process and will do our up­most to en­sure the ven­ture suc­ceeds.”

Al­lan Seed­house, man­ag­ing director Ar­mitt Group; Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor Liver­pool City Re­gion; Dean Drinkwa­ter, man­ag­ing director Hutchin­son’s Engi­neer­ing; and Steve Adams, Hutchin­son’s Engi­neer­ing at the Widnes firm’s new quay­side op­er­a­tion at Garston docks

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