A GLOBALLY RENOWNED scaffolding company opened a new US base and secured contracts on the country’s first two offshore windfarm sub-stations.
BGB Renewables and BGB New Energy Taiwan – part of the larger BGB Scaffolding Group based in Chester and Port of Mostyn, Flintshire – added Providence in Rhode Island and Taichung City in Taiwan to its growing list of international sites.
Now employing up to 100 staff, last year saw them start on the construction phase of the first two offshore substations in the USA, as well as completing the construction phase of the first large scale far shore offshore windfarm in Taiwan and the world’s largest operational single wind farm, Ørsted’s Hornsea 2, which helps to power more than 1.4 million homes in the UK.
They secured contracts and framework agreements which will enable the planned growth and development of the business for the foreseeable future.
Managing Director Ben Badham says a focus on developing apprentices in partnership with education providers is pivotal to them moving forward, giving young men and women in the region an opportunity to learn key skills while working on the international stage.
Having also trained scaffolders in America – upskilling local labour and supporting the economy – he is keen to continue giving back to communities while providing employment opportunities in Wales and eventually Taiwan and beyond.
As BGB’s partnership with multi-national renewable energy giant Ørsted goes from strength to strength, Ben says the firm’s position as a leader in the global green revolution will help the UK Government achieve its pledge for 30% of green electricity to be provided via offshore energy by 2030.
“Our growth, both in the UK and overseas is in line with government targets and reflects our commitment to training the next generation of multi-disciplined technicians – particularly for offshore renewable energy contracts – and upskilling local workers while improving infrastructure in the areas we are based in,” he added.
“America is a notable area of expansion for us, and we are delighted to be involved with the Vineyard and Ørsted’s South Fork commercial-scale offshore wind farms, the first two to be constructed there.”
A multi-disciplinary operation, Ben’s plans for the business to double in size has come to fruition over the last 18 months.
But paramount to him is not profits, it’s giving apprentices a platform to make their way in the sector.
“We have young lads who started out with us in North Wales now working in Taiwan and the US on major offshore energy schemes,” he said.
“That’s something we want to capitalise on, and we would like to see more females in the industry, so an academy-style further education qualification or training programme is something we are exploring.
“Business is busier than ever, and the world is heading towards cleaner energy as countries target net zero and work to lower their carbon footprints, so we are seeing an increase in the number of offshore wind farms across Europe and further afield.”
BGB Project Manager Charmaine Papasarafi added: “There are opportunities out there and we are committed to working with our partners to offer a range of high-quality, highly safe services that support the development of long-term infrastructure of the Clean Energy Industry in the US and Taiwan – where we are delighted to now be based – and worldwide.”
One of those to benefit from the culture of training and development at BGB was Jamie Hargrave, who, like Ben, hails from Rhyl.
Jamie has already spent five years with the organisation and believes “anything is possible” if you have the support behind you.
He said: “My time at BGB has been great, there are endless possibilities, and they really push you and help you to achieve your goals.
“I started on an apprenticeship scheme before moving on to Part 2 of a Scaffolding qualification, in addition to Global Wind Organisation (GWO) courses.
“For more than two years I’ve been based in Taiwan, an amazing experience which demonstrated that if you show commitment to your profession BGB will show their commitment to you and train and develop your skillset.
“I would definitely encourage others to look at opportunities with the company, because you won’t regret it.”