Freight, haulage, and maintenance operator Northwards – which has bases in Shetland, Orkney, Aberdeen, Inverness, Scrabster, and Central Scotland – is spearheading a series of innovative transport solutions for the energy sector. And the operator will be presenting these solutions to visitors at the All-Energy 2022 exhibition in Glasgow on 11 and 12 May.
From transporting materials to Shetland for the development of the UK’s largest onshore wind farm to moving surplus hydrogen from the island of Shapinsay to Kirkwall Harbour in Orkney, Northwards has developed the expertise to answer the many transportation challenges of this new and innovating sector.
Commercial director of Northwards, Neil Leslie, says, “Orkney is, of course, home to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and we have worked closely with local marine operators, transporting tidal and wave-energy equipment to the islands for deployment and testing, over many years.”
“As EMEC expands and diversifies into other energy initiatives, we have been working with them to transport surplus hydrogen from the island of Shapinsay to Kirkwall Harbour. A hydrogen electrolyser is used to generate the fuel from the island’s wind turbine, the primary use for which is heating the island’s primary school. We transport the remaining hydrogen to the pier in Kirkwall, to provide auxiliary power and heat for Orkney Islands Council ferries, and also to fuel a fleet of electric/hydrogen hybrid vehicles through a hydrogen refuelling station,” he adds.
“Meanwhile in Shetland, we are providing haulage and storage for a number of the main contractors involved in the construction of the UK’s largest onshore wind farm. We are carrying general construction materials to the site and the connecting station, which has – to date – included transporting and storing foundations for the first turbines from Denmark. Across the project, Northwards is currently moving 40-50 loads per week. This is, without doubt, an exciting time for new energy, and we are delighted to play our part in supporting the development of new and innovative initiatives in both Orkney and Shetland,” Leslie explains.
Jerry Gibson, operations technician at EMEC says, “Northwards support EMEC with hydrogen trailer logistics across the islands as well as maintaining the annual trailer MOT and ADR requirements. The Northwards team are very professional and have the expertise and know how to provide us with a responsive, bespoke service, meeting our requirements for work in innovation and the hydrogen R&D sector.”
Beyond its Scottish depots, Northwards has access to the vessels and European terminals of parent company, SeaCargo AS, so the transportation of goods and equipment between the north of Europe and Scotland has become simple and straightforward. In addition, a partnership with UPN facilitates pallet distribution services across the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Neil Leslie continues, “The need to continually innovate, create efficiencies, and solve the transport challenges faced by our customers is central to our operation. These are all areas that we look forward to discussing face-to-face, when we reconnect with our energy customers at All-Energy 2022.”
During All-Energy, visit Northwards at Stand ORK65.