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Whitby: Do not miss green opportunities

Companies threatening to pull the plug on the proposed London Array scheme are ignoring areas of economic growth, according to Former ICE president and Ramboll Whitbybird chairman Mark Whitby.

Last week E.On climate and renewables chief executive Frank Mastiaux said the weak pound would make the London Array too expensive as most of the components needed for the project are manufactured in mainland Europe.

Whitby said there is an opportunity for companies like Corus, who have announced the loss of 2,500 and others: "To build new wind turbines, we could license the technology and build them here. A new factory would be needed with a clear span for the blades, as these things are larger than a large house, but something can be done.

"This is an opportunity for Corus, and the likes of Rolls Royce and we should liaise with these businesses and talk about some good news – this is a big growth area," he said.

Whitby said the appetite for renewable technologies was also an opportunity for engineers, and staff in Whitbybird's renewables division had grown from 3 initially to more than 100 projected by the end of the year.

"They [wind turbines] have big foundations, there are vibration problems, electrical and other issues that all need to be resolved," he said.

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