Awards celebrate a year of great change in East of England energy sector

EEEGR award winners 2016. Left to right (back): Neil Clarkson (Windcat Workboats), Matt Wooltorton a

EEEGR award winners 2016. Left to right (back): Neil Clarkson (Windcat Workboats), Matt Wooltorton and Paul Thomson (Sembmarine SLP), Simon Gray (EEEGR), John Best (Best Proactive), Graeme Cook (Geeforce), Martin Myhill Sisley (James Fisher Marine), Alan Wagner (Lowestoft College), Les Holden (Great Yarmouth College), Mark Riemers (SPT Offshore - suction bucket technology Dudgeon project), Richie Mason (ALE Heavylift, Dudgeon project), Neil Manning 3D at Depth. Pictures: AMEY EVENTS - Credit: Archant

Leading firms and workers in East Anglia's energy sector have been honoured for playing their part in a 'year of great change' in their industry.

John Best, right, receives his Lifetime Achievement Award from Mark Goodall at the East of England E

John Best, right, receives his Lifetime Achievement Award from Mark Goodall at the East of England Energy Awards. Pictures: AMEY EVENTS - Credit: Archant

The East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) held its 13th annual awards in front of 200 industry members.

Among the winners was John Best, who was given the EEEGR Lifetime Achievement Award for developing the organisation into 'a brand known nationally and internationally' throughout more than a decade as chief executive.

'He grabbed the reins and ran with the vision and built it, developed it and nurtured it,' former EEEGR chairman Mark Goodall told the audience at a gala dinner.

And the 'Made in Lowestoft' Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Offshore Substation – designed and manufactured by Sembmarine SLP, at its Hamilton Road yard – won the EEEGR Best Energy Project Award, sponsored by EDF Energy. The substation used suction bucket technology for the first time on an offshore wind farm substation in UK waters. A subsea laser (LIDAR) for measurement and 3-D modelling of underwater assets, resources and marine environments was winner of the EEEGR Innovation Award, sponsored by James Fisher Marine.


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Lowestoft-based Windcat Work boats won the EEEGR Cost Reduction and Collaboration award, sponsored by Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, for its Windgrip - which fixes crew transfer vessels to turbines to make safer transfers. Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft College's Energy Skills Foundation Programme (ESFP) won the EEEGR Best Skills Initiative, for the unique course designed with the help of industry and has given hundreds of young people qualifications and employability skills. It has also given them knowledge of the industry they hope to find apprenticeships in by site visits across the energy industry.

Johnathan Reynolds, of Nautilus and business development lead at OrbisEnergy, who compered the event, said: 'This has been a year of great change in the energy industry – but a year of great opportunity.'

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