Areva Wind is planning to build a UK manufacturing facility, which will produce its 5MW M5000 offshore turbine. If it is built, it would be the French company's first UK plant and would signal its commitment to the UK's Round 3 offshore wind development programme.
Plans are at an early stage, but Julian Brown, Areva's UK country director, says a shortlist of potential sites has been drawn up. These include sites in the north east of England and south east Scotland, and are thought to include ports on the Tyne, Tees and Humber estuaries
The plant would complement Areva's existing facilities at Bremerhaven, Germany and Le Harve, France and would supply turbines for offshore wind farms planned for the Hornsea and Dogger Bank development zones in the North Sea. These Round 3 projects have been earmarked for the development of up to 4GW and 12.8GW generating capacity respectively.
Areva's UK manufacturing plant could be constructed by 2015 to begin production the following year. Areva says it will make a further announcement in the autumn.