75 years in energy

It’s been an incredible journey for the EIC and its members, starting way back in London in 1943 with 13 power equipment suppliers. Over the years we’ve expanded our range of products and services, opened offices around the world, and now support over 600 member companies across all energy sectors

75 Years Central London 1943


The EIC is founded. 13 power equipment suppliers aiming to diversify into the oil and gas sector meet in London to form the Council of British Manufacturers of Petroleum Equipment (CBMPE), as the EIC would be known for 38 years. In 12 months, membership grows to 100



The EIC launches its first publications, British Petroleum Equipment News and the EIC Procurement Guide. Both are still in print, with the former being renamed EIC Inside Energy 

75 The atomic energy research establishment










The UK’s first nuclear reactor is built at Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) Harwell to demonstrate the viability of commercial power reactors

Looking ar aere model scale


The Soviet Union opens the 5MW Obninsk nuclear power plant in 1954, the first to generate electricity for a power grid. Two years later, the UK opens the first commercial nuclear power station for civil use – Calder Hall, now known as Sellafield – with an initial capacity of 50MW (later 200MW). France’s nuclear programme generates its first electricity with the opening of a reactor at Marcoule in 1956

75 Years Nuclear Power Plant Moscow Alamy
75 Years Power Plant Obkinsk Alarmy










Photovoltaic technology is born. The world’s first solar panel capable of converting energy from the sun into power was developed at Bell Labs, New Jersey. The panel had an efficiency of 4%. Today's panels have efficiencies of around 20%

Solar Panel and Battery Getty


Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is founded in Baghdad, Iraq, to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers and provide member states with technical and economic aid. Currently, there are 14 OPEC member states, controlling 61% of the world’s oil exports and 80% of the world's proven oil reserves



The first combined cycle gas turbine plant in the world begins operation. The Brown Boveri plant in Korneuburg, Austria, had a capacity of 75MW. In the same year, the first cross-channel transmission line was built between France and the UK

75 Years Brown Boveri Generator Alamy


UK Continental Shelf Act comes into force in May 1964 and the UK’s first offshore well is drilled later that year. The first British discovery of gas in the West Sole field follows in 1965

75 Years West Sole a Oil Rig Alamy


The UK reaches 50,000MW of installed generating capacity. Records show this figure at just 44MW in 1892 and peaking at just over 80,000MW in 2010


The UK’s (and Western Europe’s) largest onshore oil field Wytch Farm goes into production. The field has produced almost 500MMbbls of oil to date and is currently producing approximately 18,000boe/d 

Oil Rig Alarmy


To reflect its broadening member base and activities, the CBMPE changes its name to the Energy Industries Council (EIC) in 1981 and opens its new London office in Notting Hill Gate


Taichung Power Plant, the largest coal-fired power plant, in the world becomes operational in Taiwan. When commissioned, the plant had a capacity of 5,500MW

Taiching Power Plant at Sunset Getty


Delabole wind farm in Cornwall, the UK’s first commercial onshore wind farm, comes online. Marking its 25th anniversary in 2016, the wind farm had produced enough power to boil 3.4bn kettles since the blades began spinning

Delabole Wind Farm Getty


The EIC opens its first office outside the UK, in Houston, the US

Houston Exterior


Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc (TEPCO) starts commercial operation of the world’s first advanced boiling water reactor at the Kashiwazaki-Kariba nuclear power complex, with a capacity of 1,350MW. A seventh reactor enters commercial operation in July 1997, raising the plant’s total power generation capacity to 8,212MW, making it the world’s largest nuclear power plant


EICDataStream is launched, quickly becoming one of the world’s leading CAPEX project-tracking databases


The first ever EIC Connect event takes place in London. EIC Global Energy magazine is launched, later to be renamed and rebranded as Energy Focus

Global Energy Cover First Edition


Npower commissions the 60MW North Hoyle, the UK's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, off the north coast of Wales. The UK now has over 5.3GW of installed offshore wind, with a further 4.5GW under construction

North Hoyle Off Shore Wind Generator Alarmy


Opening of the EIC’s Dubai office 

Dubai Office


The EIC registers its 500th member

lng Isle Of Grain Rex Shutterstock
Isle of Grain LNG regasification terminal starts-up with a throughput capacity of 3.3Mtpa. By 2010 the site has the capacity to process 15Mtpa, equivalent to 20% of the UK’s gas demand


EIC Teesside office is opened


The EIC sets up its Training department 


The EIC’s head office moves to a new location on the South Bank of the River Thames in Vauxhall


The first shale gas exploration well, Preese Hall-1, was spud and successfully encountered 800 metres of organic rich shale. The well hydraulically fractured in 2011 and triggered two seismic events which register on the Richter scale. New wells are to be drilled in 2018

Presse Hall Alamy


Though its reactors successfully withstood shaking from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, flooding from the ensuing tsunami caused the failure of cooling systems at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The UK says there is no risk of a similar disaster and confirms the list of eight new sites for the next generation of nuclear power stations. It’s another five years before Hinkley Point C in Somerset, the first new nuclear power station for 20 years, gets the green light in 2016

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Getty


Global installed capacity of solar photovoltaic panels passes 100GW. The global solar market begins to shift eastwards as China surpasses Germany’s capacity, becoming the world leader three years later

Solar Panels China Getty


The EIC’s Kuala Lumpur office opens

Kuala Lumpur Office


The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) is established following the Wood Review that was conducted in 2013. The OGA is incorporated as a government company in October 2016. More electricity is generated from renewable sources in the UK than from coal over the course of the year. By 2017, renewables and nuclear produce the majority of UK power for the first time


EICAssetMap launched, the only operations and maintenance database to map all major UK facilities across all energy sectors. EIC Connect events are held in Indonesia and the US for the first time

UK Map Grab iStock


The EIC celebrates its 75th birthday, making us one of the oldest trade associations in the world. Surpassing the 600- member mark, this year also sees us take our EIC Connect model to Malaysia, Mexico and Vietnam

And beyond…

From the very beginning our mission has been to support our companies, large and small, to maximise business opportunities, at home and abroad. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to adapt to the changing markets, doing everything we can to ensure a bright future for all our members. Some key developments to look out for in the near future are:

  • Work is underway to extend EICAssetMap to cover the Middle East region
  • EIC Fit4ScaleUp business development course to be launched in partnership with Robert Gordon University
  • EIC Matchmaking service – an innovative database matching operators and contractors’ requirements with the solutions and services provided by the UK supply chain
  • EIC Supply Chain Map, a new database detailing the full capability of UK suppliers across all energy sectors

Image credit | Getty, Alarmy, Reuters, Saskpower via slikr/ OPEC