Gunther Newcombe
ORION project coordinator

Gunther has over 40 years of experience working in the energy sector spending 35 years working with BP, in areas ranging from exploration right through to decommissioning in a number of senior leadership positions, including managing BP’s UK terminals and pipelines which included Sullom Voe Terminal. Gunther also spent 5 years as Operations Director with the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) which included the development of energy hubs including Shetland.

At the end of 1Q 2020 Gunther stepped down from the OGA and started working on the development of the ORION energy hub project.

He was awarded an OBE for his services to the oil & gas industry in the Queens 2020 New Year’s Honours list and is a Fellow of the Energy Institute.

Douglas Irvine
Shetland Islands Council
Future Energy executive manager

Douglas manages Shetland Islands Council’s new Future Energy service, which is tasked with identifying pathways for Shetland to switch from fossil fuel dependency into cleaner forms of energy use. This work emphasises the Just Transition aspects to ensure that the Shetland community has access to secure, affordable energy and shares the economic benefits from future clean energy developments that take place in and around the islands. Douglas is the Council’s lead officer in the ORION project team. He has worked for the Council for 35 years, and for most of that time he managed the Economic Development and Business Development services.

Future Energy Team
Shetland Islands Council

In May 2021, the SIC Future Energy team was formed. Three project managers have different areas of focus: Joe Najduch - hydrogen, marine, and port applications of future energy solutions on Shetland; Harry Thomson - electrification, affordable energy and the greening of marine and port activities; and Jennifer Sjoberg – Shetland Clean Energy Project and inter-island collaborations. Andrea Grochowski is the Communications Officer for both the team and ORION.

Roy Stenhouse, Darren Gee and Graeme Rogerson
Net Zero Technology Centre
Energy System Integration

Net Zero Technology Centre purpose is to develop and deploy technology to deliver a net zero North Sea. We work cross-sector to maximise the potential of an integrated offshore energy system with a vision to reimagine the North Sea. As we transition to this new energy future, we must address the full cycle sustainability of the system. As such our team are supporting the ORION project with the identification and development of technologies that can be replicated across multiple energy hubs.

Katrina Wiseman, Gavin MacKay, and George Irvine
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Area Manager Shetland, Head of Energy Industries and Senior Development Manager

Highlands and Islands Enterprise have a number of team members that are involved in the ORION project. Katrina Wiseman Area Manager, Gavin Mackay Head of Energy Industries, and George Irvine Senior Development Manager all sit on the Project Team. Audrey MacIver Director of Energy and Low Carbon sits on the ORION Board. Key staff are involved through raising the profile through the DeepWind project, providing supply chain development and also inward investor relationships support, making connections between ORION and other businesses and industries, and working closely with key clients and partners on exploring future skills requirements and how to fill those gaps. HIE also have client relationships with businesses and organisations that will be key to the future supply chain for ORION and will be working closely with them to ensure that they can respond to opportunities as they arise. HIE’s Energy and Low Carbon team provide sector-based expertise to the ORION project team in a wide range of areas creating key linkages to national initiatives and raising the profile of the project amongst key stakeholders at a national level.

Willie Reid
University of Strathclyde Glasgow
Director, University of Strathclyde Offshore Energy Transition Programme

Willie Reid is Director of the University of Strathclyde Offshore Energy Transition Programme where he is responsible for strategic and operational development.

He is a member of the board of ORION and works closely with ORION partners and the relevant Strathclyde team members who help to bring scale, pace, and experience to the technical and commercial development of the Renewable Energy Hub on the Shetland Islands.

Willie has 40 years of experience in upstream oil and gas services, downstream process industries, and clean technology development. Previous roles include international CEO, Managing Director, business management, and technical positions with Gas2 (co-founder), Servo BV, Lubrizol, Exxon, Nalco, and Shell. He has also consulted for both operators and their supply chain.

He is a member and past Chairman of Aurora Private Equity and is past Chair of the North of Scotland Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

He is a graduate of Aberdeen University, holds an MBA from Henley Management College, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Captain Calum Grains
Lerwick Port Authority
Chief Executive

As Chief Executive of Lerwick Port Authority, Captain Calum Grains has overall responsibility for the organisation, including strategic and business development, leading on operational and technical aspects of major capital investment at the Shetland port, and investigating and implementing its contribution to cleaner energy use.

He was a Harbour Pilot at Lerwick from 1997-2000 before leaving to take his Master’s ticket. Captain Grains returned to the Authority as Deputy Harbourmaster in 2003, was promoted Harbourmaster in 2007 and became Deputy Chief Executive in 2014 and Chief Executive four years later.

An Executive Board Member of the Port Authority and a board-nominated director to various companies.