Building Back Greener - The Orbital Commitment

By Andrew Scott, CEO

In hardship and under pressure people develop coping mechanisms and as an optimist, I hope that our societal coping mechanism is an unflinching resolve to work harder and quicker to step back from the brink, regardless of the hard decisions. To reverse the unsustainable. To build back greener.

At Orbital we strive to play our part in that greener future, but simply helping to build back a greener energy system isn’t the limit of our vision. Building back greener with sustainable UK jobs that engineer, manufacture and operate our technology is what really motivates us.

You might argue that mantra is a function of necessity; that as a UK based start-up company we simply don’t have the resources to overseas our manufacturing. To tender the yards of the middle and far east and manage them isn’t viable - so we have to pay a premium to use local.

We are currently building the world’s most powerful tidal turbine which, if nothing else, is a truly bold bit of engineering. And it is with no sense of concession that we have engaged a supply chain here in the UK that is delivering over 75% (by value) of the turbine.

We are:

  • working steel from Motherwell.
  • layering composites for rotors in Gosport.
  • casting iron in Scunthorpe.
  • fabricating in Llangefni.
  • machining hydraulic cylinders in Sheffield.
  • assembling mechanical systems in Workington.
  • welding in Fife.
  • wiring electrical connectors in Southampton.
  • installing offshore infrastructure in Orkney.
  • assembling the most impressive tidal turbine the world has ever seen in Dundee.

By building in the UK we have enabled UK suppliers to commit their fantastic capabilities to deliver our vision and uphold our standards and principles. And that is fulfilling – not an expensive concession.

The manufacturing process alone of building our 2MW tidal turbine is estimated to have created over 80FTE jobs in the UK. One turbine. And we can multiply that statistic, many, many times over if we can invest in and build an industry. A new industry for the future that delivers predictable green power, sustainable UK jobs and grows UK exports.

This has been our resolve since we picked up the challenge of harnessing the ocean's energy, and we will continue to make the case to UK Government for the support that will enable UK jobs to build our greener future.

This is us turning the tide.