The owners of a Scottish-based wind turbine tower steel fabricator – employing 170 people – and Vattenfall, the Swedish state-owned wind farm developer, have today agreed a deal to co-operate over potential future contract and supply opportunities for Vattenfall’s UK development pipeline.
The agreement means that Vattenfall will give CS Wind UK the opportunity to tender for tower supply contracts on future Vattenfall onshore wind farm projects. Vattenfall has also agreed to discuss further opportunities associated with its UK offshore wind projects.
The formal signing of the deal was witnessed by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse at Campbeltown town hall, on the eve of a major investment by Korean-owned CS Wind UK to increase capacity at its Machrihanish factory.
CS Wind UK is due to break ground tomorrow on the new £27 million investment at the 15 year old facility. The investment will increase production volume for onshore wind and allow for the fabrication of larger diameter towers for the offshore wind sector.
The factory upgrade follows the acquisition in April this year of Wind Towers (Scotland) by the South Korean manufacturer, CS Wind Corporation.
CS Wind plans to extend operations at the Argyllshire plant to include the manufacture of towers for the offshore wind market. The investment will result in the first factory in the UK to commercially produce offshore wind towers.
Wheelhouse said: “This agreement is the start of a great collaboration between CS Wind UK and Vattenfall, which has the potential to secure local jobs within the community and see the companies working together on a number of onshore and offshore wind projects in the future.
“The £27 million investment undertaken by CS Wind UK, which will increase production capacity at the Campbeltown plant, highlights the importance of both the onshore and offshore wind sectors to the Scottish economy.
“I warmly welcome this important collaboration which will help to deliver on our aim to capture, for Scottish engineering and the wider renewables supply chain, a far greater share of the economic value arising from the construction phase of wind energy projects.”
Lesley Black, Head of UK Sales for CS Wind, said: “This marks an exciting time for CS Wind with the start of significant investment in the factory, which will ensure high quality, cost competitive towers for both on and offshore wind projects being built in the UK .
“Our agreement with Vattenfall is another strong signal that UK manufacturers and suppliers have an important part to play in the development of windfarm projects.
“It is encouraging that developers like Vattenfall who are looking to develop projects in the UK are using UK suppliers where possible for large components and thereby, securing jobs and a long term future for the local economies.”
CS Wind – then known as the Choon Sang Corporation – started making wind towers in Vietnam in 2003 and has since exported more than 5,000 towers to the USA and Europe
Guy Mortimer, Head of UK Onshore Wind Development at Vattenfall, said: “The Scottish onshore wind sector has grown significantly and made an important economic contribution in Scotland thanks to continued Scottish Government support.
“We hope that the offshore wind sector will follow suit. As a result, major companies like CS Wind UK, employing nearly 200 local people, are making substantial investments in the Scottish economy.”
Vattenfall has a number of onshore wind farms in development in the UK. If constructed, its onshore wind farm development projects in Scotland alone would require more than 100 turbine towers.
It is also developing the 11-turbine European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre off the Aberdeenshire coast and is due to start the planning process on its 1.8-GW Norfolk Vanguard project in the southern North Sea.