18035North East businesses operating in the oil & gas sector supply chain can boost their export opportunities as part of a Northern Powerhouse initiative led by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).

Working with specialist energy sector business development organisation, NOF Energy, UKTI has organised a series of trade missions to international markets that hold significant opportunities for UK companies.

Taking place between the end of September and March 2016, the visits will take in Mexico and Colombia, Brazil, Singapore and Western Australia – all markets with established and growing energy sectors that are keen to engage with UK suppliers.

The initiative has been introduced to highlight the innovations, technologies and services of businesses in the Northern Powerhouse regions by supporting first-time exporters and new-to-market enterprises.   It will also emphasise the value of the North of England supply chain to the global market and, in turn, the economic benefit the sector brings to the UK economy.

To support the export ambitions of companies in the Northern Powerhouse regions, the initiative has secured funding to help companies cover travel costs.

During the visits delegates will have the chance to meet potential clients and attend high level receptions with local VIPs from the energy sector.  The delegation will also take part in site visits to local industry and attend specially organised networking receptions.

Led by an experienced international trade team from NOF Energy, the trade missions provide the opportunity to gain a first-hand understanding of the current market opportunities and establish potentially mutually beneficial business relationships.

NOF Energy, which is the UK business development organisation for oil, gas, nuclear and offshore renewables sectors, has organised and delivered international energy sector market visits for more than two decades.

The organisation, which represents almost 500 companies and has a robust network of UK and international contacts at all levels of the supply chain community, has helped companies secure exports worth more than £100 million as a result of taking part in its international market visits.

David Coppock Regional Director of UKTI, said: “Within the Northern Powerhouse regions are innovative companies that have developed technology-led solutions that will be in demand from the international market.  Therefore, by utilising the strengths of the Northern Powerhouse, we can help fuel our economy by increased exports to industries such as oil and gas.

“This initiative will help businesses focus on a number of key markets where, with the support of UKTI and NOF Energy, they will have the opportunity to potentially instigate new commercial arrangements.”

George Rafferty, Chief Executive of NOF Energy, said: “From decades of developing technology-led solutions that have been applied in deep water and harsh environments, the UK’s oil and gas supply chain is seen as the gold standard across the globe.   The North of England supply chain is particularly strong and can support the ambitions of the Northern Powerhouse with its export-led activities.

“The markets we are targeting have active oil and gas sectors keen to engage with UK businesses.  This Northern Powerhouse initiative will enable North East companies, with innovative products and services that can be applied to the industry, establish new relationships that can deliver new export streams.”

For more information about the market visits, contact Jennifer Smith jsmith@nofenergy.co.uk at NOF Energy or visitwww.nofenergy.co.uk