United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Areva still committed to Scottish factory

UK: Areva has said that it is still committed to building a turbine construction plant in Scotland after recently forming a joint venture (JV) with Gamesa.

Areva's 5MW turbine would be made at the plant
Areva's 5MW turbine would be made at the plant

The plan to develop in the UK was referenced in the joint Gamesa-Areva JV announcement that the two companies had signed a binding agreeement to form a joint venture. It said Areva's UK commitments would be transferred to the JV.

However, the French manufacturer said that any development was dependant on a sufficient order pipeline in Scotland or the north of England.

In November 2012 Areva and Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond announced plans to build a factory on the Scottish east coast.

When asked whether Scottish independence would affect this commitment, a spokesperson for Areva said that was a "political question, not an economic one" and would not be drawn on whether the deal would be valid in an independent Scotland.

When the memorandum of understanding was signed with the Scottish government, Areva said that the plant, which would construct its 5MW turbines, had the potential to create 750 jobs.

On Monday, Gamesa and Areva signed off their offshore JV with the aim of taking 20% of the European market by 2020. They named the UK as one of the JV's major targets.

The formalisation of the deal follows talks between the two companies over the year. Negotiations were revealed in January,covering the continued development of Areva's 5MW platform and the development of an 8MW platform.

A Scottish factory would fit with Gamesa's own plans. As with Areva, Gamesa has been courted by Salmond. Paradoxically, a victory for Salmond's Scottish National Party in September's independence referendum could affect plans to build a factory in the country.

Speaking to Windpower Monthly in October last year, Gamesa CEO Ignacio Martin said an investment decision could be affected if Scotland lost the pound and exited the UK energy market.

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