LONDON - BP is set to hire over 100 employees to its offshore wind division as the energy company rapidly expands its operations in the fast-growing sector around the world.
The hiring process will begin in the coming weeks, as part of BP's ambition to double the size of the offshore team to 800 employees over the next two years, Matthias Bausenwein, BP's head of offshore wind, told Reuters.
"That means bringing a lot of our talent within BP but we will also have to find people from the outside," Bausenwein said.
Since Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney took office three years ago, the London-based company, which has around 60,000 employees, has cut thousands of jobs in its traditional oil and gas operations while hiring hundreds into its renewables business.
That includes Bausenwein, who joined BP last year from Danish offshore wind giant Orsted, as well as his boss, Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, BP head of natural gas and renewables, who also joined last year after heading RWE Renewables.
The aim of the hiring campaign, which breaks with a long energy major tradition of developing talent internally, is to build an "engineering backbone" for BP's offshore wind operations in Europe.
It will also include hiring in Japan, South Korea and the United States where BP is seeking to invest.
Offshore wind is central to BP's strategy to increase its renewables and low-carbon energy output by the end of the decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Its hydrogen business is also expected to play a big part in decarbonisation and BP has been hiring dozens of employees to work in it.
BP in recent months accelerated its expansion in offshore wind, forming joint ventures in Britain, Germany, Japan and the United States to develop large projects.
On Wednesday, it announced it had entered the South Korean offshore wind sector after acquiring a 55% stake in Deep Wind Offshore's early-stage portfolio.
By 2030, the company aims to grow its installed renewable energy capacity to 10 gigawatts from around 2.2 gigawatts at the end of 2022. It also wants to have 50GW of renewables projects under some stage of development by then.
The expansion in offshore wind is in spite of recent concerns over thinning margins in the sector due to supply chain issues and growing competition, although last week Looney rowed back on plans to cut the company's oil and gas output after BP reported a record profit of $28 billion in 2022.
Bausenwein said that some of the inflationary pressure in the offshore wind sector was "calming down". (Additional reporting by Sarah MacFarlane; editing by Barbara Lewis)