Lancashire chambers join forces to create shale gas portal

Two Lancashire chambers of commerce have teamed up with Cuadrilla Resources to launch an online supply chain portal for local businesses who want to be ready for opportunities in the county’s shale gas industry.

CuadrillaThe portal will allow local companies to register their interest in becoming a supplier to Cuadrilla, keep up to date with the latest developments with the exploration programme including future contracting opportunities, and find out how to meet the quality and safety standards required.

According to the Ernst and Young report “Getting ready for UK shale gas” launched in Blackpool in April last year, there is a £33bn supply chain up for grabs for the UK’s shale gas industry.

In response to this opportunity, Cuadrilla’s chief executive Francis Egan made a commitment to develop an online supply chain portal for local firms.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “This announcement means that local chamber members will be in pole position for future shale gas supply chain opportunities in the county. We are doing this early to ensure we don’t miss the chance for local firms to prepare themselves and develop relationships with Cuadrilla and their key suppliers.

"This has been a learning point for other industries such as offshore wind in the UK – if the local supply chain waits for the industry to gear up fully, opportunities are lost and the contracts go to other parts of the county or abroad where the expertise exists."

"Cuadrilla has already demonstrated a firm commitment to buying local with recent procurement decisions and the portal will take the involvement of local companies with the shale gas opportunity to the next level.”

Mike Damms, chief executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Shale gas could be a generational opportunity for the Lancashire. We have world class manufacturers and a proud tradition of engineering excellence. We would encourage members to register today so they can get up to speed and make themselves and their capabilities known to Cuadrilla.”

Francis Egan added: “The site will be a true engagement tool for local businesses, providing an effective communication platform for Cuadrilla and the potential local supply chain. We are calling for local businesses who want to find out more about future opportunities to register on the portal so we can find out about your capabilities. "This information will then be shared with colleagues responsible for commissioning work for our exploration programme. Details of local companies will also be made available to our tier one suppliers, such as drilling contractors and hydraulic fracturing service providers who will have their own local procurement requirements.”