French engineering firm Areva has announced it plans to build a wind turbine factory in eastern Scotland.
The firm has signed a memorandum of understanding with Scottish Government development agency Scottish Enterprise to fabricate its 5MW turbine.
The announcement is part of the firm’s strategy to establish its manufacturing base covering the whole of Europe from three hubs - Bremerhaven in Germany, Le Havre in France and the planned plant in eastern Scotland.
Areva said it has chosen eastern Scotland to bring down logistic costs for the upcoming Round Three offshore wind programme. Up to 750 jobs will be created through the project.
“This demonstrates the group’s commitment to contribute to the development of an ambitious offshore wind industry in the UK,” said Areva chief executive officer Luc Oursel. “The Scottish site will complete our industrial plan to supply European offshore wind projects and will strongly position us to grasp opportunities in the extensive UK market.”
Politicians welcomed the announcement.
“Areva’s announcement is the latest sign that the UK is set to reap the economic benefits of being at the forefront of low carbon energy,” said energy secretary Ed Davey “This inward investment will support 750 jobs and bring wider benefits to Scotland and the UK economy.”
Prime minister David Cameron also welcomed today’s announcement adding it had been helped by the government’s green energy strategy.
“More renewable energy deployed under three years of this Coalition Government than under 13 years of the previous Government, the UK is now the world’s biggest offshore wind market,” said Cameron.