Scotland gets investment boost from Spain

Scotland yesterday enjoyed a double-whammy of good news from Spanish energy companies. Energy giant Iberdrola, which owns Scottish Power, has revealed it is to invest £3bn in Scottish businesses over […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Scotland yesterday enjoyed a double-whammy of good news from Spanish energy companies.

Energy giant Iberdrola, which owns Scottish Power, has revealed it is to invest £3bn in Scottish businesses over the next two years, while wind power firm Gamesa is to send a delegation to Scotland later this month to explore opportunities for investment.

Iberdrola has more than 1,800 suppliers in Scotland, including Scottish Coal, renewables company Pelamis, and Mott MacDonald, a management, engineering and development firm.

It recently based the UK arm of its engineering and construction business in Lanarkshire and is to locate the headquarters of its global offshore renewables business in Glasgow. In the past it signed a £700m deal with Scottish Coal, the single largest coal contract in Scottish history.

Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Galan said: “In the coming years, Iberdrola will intensify its firm commitment to Scotland. We plan to make investments in the United Kingdom of £4,000m in the 2010-2012 period, two-thirds of which will go to Scotland.”

Gamesa is a world leader in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of wind turbines, with more than 18,000 MW installed in 20 countries on four continents.

Company director José María Vázquez Ugusquiza said the visit to Scotland would help Gamesa “in our decision making about potential investments in the UK, which we recognise is becoming a renewable energy hub with significant wind projects and a promising future for offshore”.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Gamesa’s visit to Scotland on this fact-finding trip is a further vote of confidence in the talent, expertise and infrastructure we have to support the development of a clean, green renewables future.”

On the Iberdola investment, Mr Salmond said Scotland was “hugely significant within Iberdola’s plans for the future and the commitment the company has shown to our country is immensely important”.