Perth-based utility SSE sold its 80% stake in the Machrihanish-based Wind Towers Scotland (WTS) factory to global manufacturer of wind farm tower structures, CS Wind.
The South Korean firm has now announced plans to invest up to £14 million in Scotland and create around 70 new jobs in rural Argyll.
Set up in 2011, Wind Towers Scotland is a specialist supplier of wind turbine infrastructure to markets across Europe. It also provides repair and maintenance services to the wind industry.
CS Wind plans to extend operations at the 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. It will secure the existing 134 jobs at the plant and create up to 70 more.
Sandy Biggar, SSE Director of Procurement, said: “We have been a committed custodian of the Wind Towers factory for over five years and we’ve worked hard to help the business keep going in a challenging economy and to help it become a success for rural Argyll.
“Although turbine tower manufacturing is not a core area of business for us as an energy company, we were nevertheless determined to demonstrate our strong support for home-grown Scottish wind farm manufacturing by seeking out an ownership stake in the Machrihanish factory.
“Another driver was our desire to retain a UK-based supply chain to service our wind farm portfolio. Transfer of our stake in the business to CS Wind at this point represents a renewed growth opportunity for Wind Towers and job security for the staff there on top of increased employment opportunities for skilled workers based in Argyll and Bute.
Grant McPherson, Managing Director, Wind Towers Scotland, commented: “We are immensely pleased CS Wind has announced this major investment in Scotland.
“Machrihanish is an ideal location for wind tower manufacturing with an excellent reputation and highly skilled workforce. The team at Wind Towers is completely supportive of this development and already looking forward to the opportunities to come as CS Wind has stated it has big plans to build on the current success of the factory.”