By Daniel Hunter
Plans by Areva for a new offshore wind manufacturing plant in Scotland, and their commitment to developing the UK offshore wind industry, were welcomed by the Government today (Monday).
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.
"I warmly welcome AREVA's announcement today which is brilliant news for Scotland," Prime Minister, David Cameron, said.
"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."
Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, 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.
“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.”
John Hayes, Minister of State for Energy, said: “Energy is at the heart of all that we do. It is central to our economic well-being, providing heat and light to support our endeavours.
“Offshore wind power has tremendous potential to deliver highly-skilled, long term, sustainable employment across the country.
“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.
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