Offshore Wind Supply Base will ‘up the game’ in the business of safety

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A new era of protection for offshore wind personnel has been ushered in following the launch of a partnership between two innovative safety companies.

Danish companies Comtec Int and HeliPPE have opened their Offshore Wind Supply Base at Grimsby’s new GRO Centre to supply personal protective equipment and related services to North Sea industries.

It is the only centre of its kind, providing retail, rental and service of PPE packages. It is a one-stop shop for staff working at heights, and being transferred either by helicopters or boats offshore.

Strategically positioned to be integral to the growth of the Humber’s offshore wind energy cluster, of which Grimsby is a fast-growing hub, the base is located close to some of the world’s largest offshore wind farms and major operators such as Ørsted, Siemens and MHI Vestas.

It is the second UK operation for Comtec Int which opened in Hull in 2014, and a first for HeliPPE as it expands its operations across Europe. Three jobs have been created for local people with more expected over the coming year.

Both companies specialise in PPE and services for offshore industries, with HeliPPE focusing on safety equipment for helicopter personnel.

Based on the service quay at Grimsby docks, the Offshore Wind Supply Base has facilities including a sales counter and inspection and service facilities with stocks of essential PPE on site.

Michael Halberg, CEO of HeliPPE, said: “Both companies understand the unique requirements of the offshore industries and have grown through an emphasis on providing an excellent service to meet their needs. Our Offshore Wind Supply Base will up the game enabling companies to be more effective.

“Since starting the business in 2013, HeliPPE has already expanded from Denmark into Germany and Holland and we’ve been looking at the UK for some time, so the partnership with Comtec Int in this location is ideal for us.”

Jonathan Isaac, director at Comtec Int, said that the concept and location would be supremely convenient for customers as the offshore wind industry continues to grow.

“After developing Comtec Int’s presence in the UK over the last five years, we knew that being so close to the action in Grimsby would enable us provide absolute support to our larger customers as the industry gets bigger and bigger.

“The base takes our services to a new level and enables us to be exceptionally responsive so customers don’t suffer any equipment ‘downtime’. Crew transfer vessels can berth outside the building and what could be more convenient than that.”

The two specialists believe that the new venture represents the future of PPE services and are already looking at following the industry into other international markets.

The Offshore Wind Supply Base will service rental PPE equipment on site as well as carrying out legally required inspections. Its products are fully compliant with a range of safety standards such as Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the European Technical Standards Order (ETSO) for offshore helicopters, Working at Heights (WAH) and Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) – with experienced staff who are fully trained in the protocols.

Basic and essential PPE can be purchased at the sales counter, including items such as helmets, safety footwear, life jackets and climbing harnesses.

  • People are invited to visit the Offshore Wind Supply Base with no appointment being necessary. To find out more about the centre, contact Jon Isaac on 07824 775105.