Gamesa continues push into UK offshore wind

The Basque multinational, which recently announced its "interest" in installing an offshore wind technology base in Glasgow, has said that it "has advanced its strategy to make the UK the core of its worldwide offshore wind business”. Gamesa reveals that this could represent an investment of €50 million and create 300 direct jobs. The company recognises that for now, everything hinges on "a final agreement on financing."

The Spanish company has released a statement publicly expressing its interest in establishing its industrial activities (manufacturing, logistics and operation and maintenance activities) in the Dundee area, "conditional upon development of offshore wind projects in the area and the availability of sites for [offshore wind turbine] prototypes”. Gamesa also reveals that it is developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council and Forth Ports plc to advance a further potential development of its industrial activities in Dundee and its port.

According to figures released by the multinational, if implemented successfully Gamesa's offshore plan for Scotland could represent an investment of €50 million and create 300 direct jobs in the country. The announcement by Gamesa comes just a few months after the Basque multinational unveiled its industrial plan for offshore wind power in the United Kingdom, where it intends to invest over €150 million by 2014. Gamesa is currently developing two families of offshore turbines of five and 6-7 MW for “future projects in the North Sea”.

In addition to its offshore technology centre in Glasgow “and a potential industrial, logistics and O&M base in Dundee”, Gamesa’s offshore wind strategy for the UK includes setting up the company’s offshore wind business headquarters in London, “from where it will engage in sales, project development, finance and management activities”; the construction of a blade production plant (“the location of which is under study”); and engaging in offshore logistics from a number of UK ports, around which it will locate its wind turbine O&M operations.

"I am delighted to confirm our commitment to the UK and Scotland as we become more deeply engaged with the UK's forward-thinking plans around offshore wind. Our plans for Glasgow and the potential for Dundee could generate significant local, skilled and sustainable jobs over the coming years,” said Gamesa Chairman, Jorge Calvet. “I would like to recognise the support and commitment from the Scottish Government and its development agencies during the ongoing discussions around these investments."

Gamesa is currently designing and developing two families of offshore turbines “based on the proven and validated technology used in its G10X-4.5 MW turbine system”. The Spanish multinational is working in partnership with Newport News Shipbuilding, a business unit of Northrop Grumman Corporation – a leading US defence contractor and America's largest shipbuilder – to develop the first prototype of the Gamesa G11X-5.0MW offshore wind generator: “choosing a location in the US, obtaining permits, and building, installing and testing the prototype”. The company is confident that the first two prototypes of its G11X system, with unit capacity of 5 MW, will be tested “in the last quarter of 2012, with pre-series models ready for market entry in 2013".

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