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26.03.2015
What is needed for a strong South Baltic offshore wind energy sector?
Interview with Kjell Olofsson, Project Manager NCC Construction Sverige AB and former E.ON Site Manager at Kårehamn Offshore Wind Farm
What did your role as project manager for the Kårehamn offshore wind farm entail?
As project manager for the Kårehamn offshore wind farm, I was responsible for mobilisation and demobilisation of the project site facility; HSSE at the site; management and coordination of works at the site; day-to-day communication with stakeholders in vicinity of the site; site budget; site schedule; supply and operation of crew vessels; and management of E.ON quality control resources working at the site.

What challenges does the offshore wind industry face at the present time?
A large offshore wind industry will require engineers and technicians to install and operate them. There is a concern over the availability of suitably qualified people which leads to a requirement to establish education and training courses to provide a supply of qualified personnel.

In 2013, you participated as a host for one of the modules of the Generation BALT Training Programme. What was your impression of the Training Programme’s participants?
The students from different South Baltic countries appeared very motivated and eager to learn about the latest trends and knowledge within the maritime sector. When they visited our wind energy station outside Kårehamn on Öland, by then still in the phase of on-going construction, we received a lot of smart and relevant questions. The sector needs a lot of these interested young people, ready to build up their know-how.

What benefits do you see stemming from closer cross-border cooperation between the offshore wind industry and higher education institutions in the South Baltic region? What role do projects such as Generation BALT play in addressing the problem of a lack of skilled personnel in the maritime sector?
I think a closer cooperation between the offshore wind industry and higher education institutions across the South Baltic region is actually a must for successful development. The sector needs well-educated people from academia in all these regions, but we also need a continuous updating of their knowledge regarding the new technology, regulations, etc. that are steadily developing within the industry. It is exactly in this gap that we need standardised cross-border training programmes such as Generation BALT to address this lack of up-to-date skills.



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