REVOLUTIONARY technology set to transform offshore energy generation and supply is being perfected through trials in the North-East.

The Port of Sunderland, once the centre of the shipbuilding world, is once again the base for endeavour that has the potential to make a global impact, thanks to the work of Frontier Technical Ltd.

Trevor Hardcastle, founder and director of Frontier Technical, is pioneering a new, unique and potentially game-changing approach to the construction of offshore platforms.

It is hoped his MarlinModular Floating Platform Project will provide a more cost-effective, efficient and environmentally-friendly approach to developing coastal platforms – floating offshore wind platform prototypes currently being tested in the open sea off the coast of Sunderland.

The company plans to open a facility where float modules will eventually be mass produced.

The port is ideal, with the new direct rail link into the port, improved road connections and the new Wear crossing due to be completed next year.

The extensive docks and direct access to the sea will allow swift direct delivery of raw materials to a factory, and easy exporting of finished goods to overseas markets directly from the port by container ships.

Mr Hardcastle, who has held roles with global marine and energy original equipment manufacturers, said: “There is increasing demand on energy supply and the need for more sustainable, environmentally-friendly sources.

“Our approach to offshore wind has the potential to change the industry, making construction of offshore wind turbines more cost-effective, quicker and sustainable.

“With this technology, constructing a platform for an offshore wind turbine will take a couple of weeks. It will remove the need for associated infrastructure, expensive equipment and complex logistics. And it has the potential to create a large number of North-East jobs.”

Councillor Harry Trueman, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “It’s brilliant to see a Sunderland-based innovation at the forefront of the offshore industry.”