David Cameron today said he “warmly welcomed” the news that French manufacturer Areva plans to build a wind turbine and blades factory in Scotland.
Areva, which specialises in the energy sector making nuclear reactors as well as wind turbine parts, said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for developing an industrial site in East Scotland.
The factory could create 750 direct jobs, making 5 MWe turbines for offshore projects in the UK, supplying France, Belgium and more southerly UK projects.
The Prime Minister said: “”I warmly welcome AREVA’s announcement today which is brilliant news for Scotland. 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.”
He said UK schemes like the world’s first Green Investment Bank, which is based in both London and Edinburgh, make Scotland an “obvious place” for companies like AREVA to invest in.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey 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.”
Luc Oursel, CEO of AREVA said: “This demonstrates the group’s commitment to contribute to the development of an ambitious offshore wind industry in the UK. 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.”
Areva recently partnered with engineering consultancy Akins to bid for nuclear decommissioning projects in the UK.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change said it is expected the factory will be part of a wider cluster of offshore wind manufacturing facilities.