Areva, Scotland sign MOU for new offshore wind turbine factory
London (Platts)--19Nov2012/945 am EST/1445 GMT
France's Areva has signed a memorandum of understanding with the
Scottish government to build a wind turbine manufacturing plant in eastern
Scotland, the company said Monday.
Scottish first minister Alex Salmond signed the MOU Monday, according to
a statement from Areva, as a step towards establishing an Areva wind turbine
factory near the Firth of Forth to produce 5 MW wind turbines for UK offshore
French state-controlled Areva said it has chosen to locate its future
facility in eastern Scotland to optimize logistics costs for UK projects and
to benefit from a growing cluster of offshore supply chain businesses in the
area, including Samsung, Gamesa and Mitsubishi.
"This demonstrates the group's commitment to contribute to the
development of an ambitious offshore wind industry in the UK," Areva CEO Luc
Oursel said in the statement.
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"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."
UK prime minister David Cameron called the development "brilliant news"
for Scotland and highlighted the importance of the renewables sector for the
UK economy in a statement following the signing.
"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," Cameron said.
UK energy secretary Ed Davey said in the same statement that the Areva
MOU could result in as many as 750 jobs and bring wider benefits to the
"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," Davey
Renewables association RenewableUK said the move provides "tangible
proof" of the growing importance of wind development to the UK's industrial
base, and that with the right policy framework in place the sector will
"Britain's offshore wind industry is on the threshold of delivering
thousands of manufacturing jobs at a time when the country needs them most,"
RenewableUK CEO Maria McCaffery said in a statement following the MOU
"It's now time for the UK government to nail its colors to the mast and
make sure these planned investments come to fruition. We need to put the
recent political spats over energy policy behind us and focus on what we need
most -- jobs, investment and securing a way of generating clean energy on an
Monday's MOU follows further details last week from Areva of its Le
Havre supply hub, from which it is to supply 100 turbines to an Iberdrola-led
offshore project at St-Brieuc, one of the first to be built in French waters.
Le Havre is a key French port area in northern France and Areva is
building a factory to manufacture nacelles -- the housing unit for generator
parts -- and a turbine blade factory, while also attracting its component
suppliers to set up in the area.
Local partnerships are being established to provide wind power entirely
produced in France, and Areva hopes to win more supply contracts in France's
upcoming second tender round, it said.
Areva's main business is nuclear power but figures released in July
showed its renewable energy division contributed positive operating cash flow
for the first time in the first half of this year, highlighting the emerging
importance of green energy to the group as it looks to improve its cash
position and pursue cost-cutting measures.
Revenues from the Renewable Energies division increased four-fold on the
year to Eur253 million ($322.5 million) on growth in offshore wind, solar and
biomass sectors. The company targets full-year renewables revenues of Eur600
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