A multi-million pound investment from Danish offshore wind power giant DONG Energy has supported Korean wind turbine manufacturer CS Wind in building a new offshore tower manufacturing facility in Campbeltown, Scotland, continuing the UK’s increasing offshore wind energy manufacturing dominance.
Announced on Thursday, CS Wind will build a new offshore tower manufacturing facility in Campbeltown, Scotland, as a direct result of “a multi-million pound investment” made by DONG Energy. Unsurprisingly, therefore, DONG Energy will receive preferred access rights to towers manufactured by CS Wind in the new facility for its own offshore wind farms.
This is the first offshore wind turbine tower manufacturing facility in the UK, and will be located adjacent to CS Wind’s current onshore facilities. Expected to be able to produce at least 50 towers a year, the new facility will also provide 70 jobs.
“Offshore wind continues to be a key element in delivering on the UK’s clean energy commitments,” said Energy Minister Baroness Neville Rolfe.
“We have seen £52bn of investment in renewable energy in the UK since 2010, and we are supporting more offshore wind than any other country in the world. This inward investment drives forward positive local supply chain partnerships like this between DONG Energy and CS Wind, delivering economic growth and creating jobs across Scotland and the UK.”
“The UK is the world leader in offshore wind and a growing market for DONG Energy,” added Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy’s UK Country Chairman. “Our investment means that we and other offshore wind developers will be able to source towers in the UK, which is fantastic news not just for us but the whole UK offshore industry.
“Developing the supply chain in the UK is a strategic priority for DONG Energy. We plan on building more wind farms here, so this investment now will ultimately help us meet our targets in reliably delivering projects on time while bringing down the cost of offshore wind.”
The news has been heartily welcomed by the region’s trade groups, as well, falling in line with a growing line of manufacturing facilities making the United Kingdom a leading offshore manufacturing presence.
“Offshore wind is already delivering major economic benefits to the UK,” said RenewableUK’s Executive Director, Emma Pinchbeck. “Today’s news highlights the fact that this industry is creating highly skilled, sustainable jobs in Britain.”
“The announcement of this significant industrial development is fantastic news for CS Wind and for Campbeltown,” said Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables. “The company is a significant employer in Argyll and this latest investment safeguards high-value skilled jobs at the site, as well as demonstrating that Scottish supply chain companies can successfully compete in this global market, supplying vital components to onshore and offshore wind projects across the UK.”
Scottish Renewables recently published a report which outlined just how far afield Scotland’s renewable energy expertise is being used. Currently, Scottish firms are involved in projects worth £125.3 million ($158.78 million) in 43 countries on every continent except Antarctica. This is unsurprising, considering the country currently has more than 8 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy, and greenhouse gas emission-cuts helping Scotland to meet its 2020 target 6 years early.
But Scotland isn’t the only United Kingdom nation powering ahead, with England’s offshore wind industry recently bolstered by several projects set to make Britain home-base for the manufacturing and development of offshore wind farms around the world. Earlier this month, Siemens officially announced the opening of its offshore wind plant in Hull. The £310 million redevelopment of Alexandra Dock by Siemens and Associated British Ports will create 1,000 jobs — 700 of which have already been filled by locals — and will manufacture Siemens’ 75 meter turbine blades for its 7 MW and next-generation 8 MW turbines.
Ireland-based heavy industrial company Harland and Wolff also announced recently that it had been awarded the contract to supply the steel foundations for the 714 MW East Anglia One offshore wind farm. Swedish power company Vattenfall also announced this month that it had signed leases totaling 24 years with the Aberdeen Harbour Board to become the first offshore wind operator to invest long-term in the port’s facilities.
“Establishing a long-term centre of operations in Aberdeen has been fundamental to our project plans,” explained Adam Ezzamel, project director for the EOWDC at Vattenfall. “We are pleased to have found a suitable location so near to the wind farm with the support of Aberdeen Harbour Board.
All in all, the United Kingdom’s place as a leading manufacturing base for the offshore wind industry around the world has been solidly cemented, and will see the region serve as a leader in the industry for years to come.
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