Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed today's announcement by French company Areva to build a new offshore wind turbine manufacturing plant in Scotland.
And the Prime Minister said the continued growth of the UK's renewable industry “isn't just good for our environment, it's good for our economy too”.
Mr Cameron was responding to the news that Areva has signed up to building a factory making blades and nacelles for offshore wind turbines and for use as a base for installing them in the North Sea, creating 750 jobs and many more in the supply chain.
The plant will manufacture its 5 MWe turbines for offshore projects in the UK, complementing the company’s Le Havre facilities that will supply France, Belgium and more southerly UK projects.
It is part of the group’s strategy to establish a manufacturing base that will cover the European market from three main industrial hubs in Germany (Bremerhaven), France (Le Havre) and the UK (Eastern Scotland).
Prime Minister David Cameron, said: "I warmly welcome AREVA's announcement today which is brilliant news for Scotland. I am determined that Britain competes and thrives in the global race and this shows that the UK remains an attractive place for foreign investment.
“Growth of the renewable energy sector isn't just good for our environment, it's good for our economy too, and with 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.
"Scotland benefits from UK wide initiatives to promote renewables and access to the entire UK consumer market. The Coalition Government has introduced the world's first and only Green Investment Bank, which, based in Edinburgh and London, is an example of one of the many ways in which we are stronger together, harnessing our combined strengths to become a world leader.
"In addition to the economic security that comes from being part of one of the world's most successful unions, this makes Scotland an obvious place for companies like AREVA to invest in."
Energy Secretary Ed Davey, added: "Offshore wind is a multi-billion pound opportunity for UK plc, which we must seize with both hands.
“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. This inward investment will support 750 jobs and bring wider benefits to Scotland and the UK economy.
“With the biggest market in the world, a world-class skills base, and one of the best natural wind resources available anywhere, the UK is extremely well-placed to continue to lead the world in developing this technology.”
Areva, actively tendering with major utilities in the UK offshore wind market, announced this morning that it has chosen to locate its future facility in East Scotland to optimise logistics costs for UK projects and to benefit from a growing cluster of offshore supply chain businesses in the area. Its development has the potential to create 750 direct jobs in the manufacture of wind turbines and blades.
The group is one of the leading offshore wind suppliers in Europe where the installed base for offshore is expected to exceed 40,000 MWe by 2030. Thanks to its field-proven M5000 technology and unique experience in the field, AREVA is well positioned to grasp significant growth opportunities in the UK, which is now home to the world’s largest offshore wind market.
In the UK, AREVA is also involved in both nuclear decommissioning and plans for new build where it is actively working to develop a local industrial supply chain.
Luc Oursel, CEO of Areva, said: “This demonstrates the group's commitment to contribute to the development of an ambitious offshore wind industry in the UK. 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.”