Plans by Areva for a new offshore wind manufacturing plant in Scotland and its commitment to developing the UK offshore wind industry have been welcomed by the government.
Areva plan to build 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.
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.”
Energy secretary Ed Davey said: “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.”
Energy minister John Hayes said: “I welcome Areva’s commitment to offshore wind in this country and I look forward to discussing their plans further in the months ahead.”
It is expected that this factory will form part of a wider cluster of offshore wind manufacturing facilities, supporting wider industry ambitions on both cost reduction and supply chain development.
It will be a central part of Areva’s multi-site strategy for offshore wind manufacturing.
The announcement marks the beginning of detailed planning by the company to take forward its plans.