AREVA To Manufacture Wind Turbines In Scotland

Development has the potential to create 750 direct jobs

French company AREVA have confirmed that they will build a wind turbine manufacturing facility  on Scotland’s East coast to support the country’s nascent  offshore wind boom.

Offshore wind farmA Memorandum of Understanding  has been signed between AREVA and Scottish Enterprise this morning on the occasion of the visit to Paris by the First Minister for Scotland. The agreement was signed by Areva CEO Luc Oursel and the chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, Lena Wilson, and was witnessed by Alex Salmond at a meeting this morning.

The MoU is the first  step towards establishing an AREVA factory in Scotland that will manufacture its 5 MWe turbines for offshore projects in the United Kingdom, complementing AREVA’s Le Havre facilities that will supply France, Belgium and more southerly UK projects.

AREVA is actively tendering with major utilities in the UK offshore wind market, and says it has chosen to locate the facility in East Scotland to optimise logistics costs for UK projects and to benefit from a growing cluster of offshore supply chain businesses in the area. The development has the potential to create 750 direct jobs in the manufacture of wind turbines and blades.

The group is one of the leading offshore wind suppliers in Europe where the installed base for offshore is expected to exceed 40,000 MWe by 2030. Thanks to its field-proven M5000 technology and unique experience in the field, AREVA is well positioned to grasp significant growth opportunities in the UK, which is now home to the world’s largest offshore wind market.

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.”

17 Responses to “AREVA To Manufacture Wind Turbines In Scotland”

  • ParaHandy:

    While Areva were thinking about how to make a 5MW turbine, RePower were installing their 5MW turbines at Beatrice 7 years ago. Is Areva the “third berth [to] be operated by Scottish Enterprise [at Hunterston] and will be leased to a turbine manufacturer which has firm plans to invest in the Scottish off-shore wind supply chain”? I get to keep my fiver then? Good joined up thinking by SG; plant on the East coast, test site on the West partially paid for by Scottish Enterprise. And another MOU to add to the Gamesa MOU. Of course, the French will close the facility employing 300 they’ve just built at Bremerhaven?

    And Siemens? Their 6-7MW turbines?

    Do you not get the feeling that your efforts and this PR you provide (i presume you cut and paste the press release) are being abused by Salmond? None of this will happen; you must know that, surely?

  • admin:

    Do you not get the feeling that your efforts and this PR you provide (i presume you cut and paste the press release) are being abused by Salmond? None of this will happen; you must know that, surely?

    We will see. I believe it will happen. Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government believe it will happen. Presumably Areva believe it will happen. It is conceivable that they are all wrong and you are right, but frankly I doubt it.

    Not sure why you are conerned about Hunterston, which will be a test site for no more than three turbines at a time. Beatrice and the Firth of Forth Offshore Wind Zone are where the immediate action is likely to be, with a requirement for hundreds of machines.

    And no, I do not feel abused by Alex Salmond. Your comments on this blog get more bizarre every time.

    • ParaHandy:

      Can we stick to the subject?

      You and presumably hundreds if not thousands of others are recipients of a press release from Scottish Enterprise about a MOU with Areva. We are to believe that up to 750 jobs somewhere on the East coast of Scotland will be created complementing Areva’s Le Havre facility which will manufacture turbines for Souther England and various Northern European countries.

      In fact, the Le Havre facility hasn’t been built yet and is described thus in a press release issued last Wednesday:
      AREVA is mobilizing its suppliers of key components such as Moventas, NTN SNR, Fouré Lagadec, ABB and Plastinov, who are ready to set up activities close to the group’s plants [In Le Havre]. This genuine industrial ecosystem being built up around AREVA’s offshore wind power activity will make it possible to create more than 750 jobs and provide a structured and competitive French offer for export markets.

      Moventas is a gearbox manufacturer, ABB are power electrics manufacturer, NTN SNR make bearings and Plastinov make the blades.

      What purpose would be served by Areva entering into a MOU with the SG for a third manufacturing plant? That depends on who’s selling what to whom. The Gamessa MOU follows the same pattern: both are unlikely alliances set up with only one intent which is to fool the Scots into believing that the SG’s investment in wind power will benefit jobs.

  • admin:

    Although I do get press releases from Scottish Enterprise I didn’t on this occasion. The article above is based on other sources, including Areva’s own press release.

    A MoU requires two parties, and it is hard to see what Areva’s motivation is for wanting to support the conspiracy by theScottish government to fool us all that you suggest exists. Areva’s motivation seems pretty simple to me – it wants a manufacturing plant near the large windfarms that are currently on the drawing board.

    Your assertion that these developmentsw will never be built is no more than that – an assertion.

    • ParaHandy:

      Funnily enough, Siemens just got quietly on with it; no MOU but then it’s in Hull. So did SSE in Dundee. The two companies who are most likely to employ somebody other than PR have just got on with it without a grubby politician in sight. Well not entirely as they all appeared when the planning application for Hull was granted.

      Gamesa are due to start building in Leith next year. I haven’t seen or heard of a planning application, have you?

      It is beginning to look as though the UK government has told the wind industry that the UK is not going to be a cash machine unless a far greater percentage of the capital cost is spent in the UK, otherwise what? The only sanction we have is planning application which could be bad news for Iberdrola.

  • Spanner:

    Is this the same outfit that recently led a consortium in Australia to ditch a A$1.2 billion solar thermal project after the Federal Government pulled critical funding?

    Is it Scots funding they’re after?

  • admin:

    Obviously these plants are only likely to be built if there is a stable policy re. offshore wind. The UK government is currently sending out mixed messages. It is entirely possible one of those messages is ‘invest or we back off our committment to offshore wind’. If so, and if it works, then it may turn out to be no bad thing. It is equally likely though that it will fail dismally and that future generations will see this as yet another point in history where we missed a train.

    To state the bleedin’ obvious, all big energy projects require the right political and economic climate if they are to happen. The current UK government are a bunch of indecisive ditherers , whether we are talking renewables, nuclear or even shale. God knows what damage they will have done to our economy and reputation by the time they are finished. The Scottish government on the other hand has a clear picture of where it wants to go but very limited control over that direction.

    I still don’t get PH;s ‘conspiracy’ angle. Do you think Big Wind secretly supports independence?

    • ParaHandy:

      It probably is fairly simple. Salmond missed getting the jewel in the crown, Siemens, and is left with the crumbs. Losing Siemens to Hull simply reflects how virtually no offshore capacity exists in Scotland – you don’t need a deep water port for onshore wind farms. One of the crumbs is Gamesa who wanted Dundee before Leith but took too long and SSE snapped it up and now look to be taking too long over Leith. If that was to happen, it would be a major embarrassment to Salmond except that along has come Areva. The Areva MOU can’t be much of one if they haven’t even decided on which port on the East coast this facility is to be situated unless it is actually Leith but Gamesa have not yet been told to push off.

      The nub of the problem, in Scotland, is who will buy the turbines coming out of these factories if they’re built. All Gamesa have done since March is moan about indecision about wind investment created by the government, much as you are doing Nick. This hasn’t stopped Siemens. I suspect that a more pressing reason for Gamesa’s dismay is that a) they haven’t got a proven offshore turbine of sufficient capacity and b) the North Sea is so hostile that if things go wrong which is not unlikely, Siemens have the heft to sort it out which would reduce the risk to eg SSE or Vattenfall. Areva more normally knock out nuclear reactors and are owned by the French government. Their offering, a 5MW turbine, similar to Gamesa’s and no more attractive.

      Anyway, the point is not a single job has been created, in Scotland, from any of Salmond’s strenuous efforts to ensure a legacy of some sort is left after the expenditure of billions in subsidy for these things. I really do hope that both the SG and UK governments have told these people that the UK isn’t just a giant cash machine for their benefit alone.

      ps the Hunterston development has 3 turbines; 2 are paid for by and allocated to SSE. The third is paid for by Scottish Enterprise and will be “given” to a turbine manufacturer with a “plan” to invest in manufacturing plant.

      • ParaHandy:

        Peculiar? Just 5 days ago the UK Areva Director said they were looking at 4 locations in the Northeast of England or Southwest of Scotland. No mention of the east coadt. A fiver it’s Leith, anyone?

        What he also said was that the UK government had mandated that there has to be an economic benefit to the UK. About time …

  • Spanner:

    Don’t be silly. Of course Mr Salmond supports Independence for Scotland

  • ParaHandy:

    Would have thought you’d have something on the SG’s Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee report by now? It’s such a glowng report.

    • admin:

      Why? It hardly set the heather alight.

      Its primary conclusions were that the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity demand from renewables by 2020 is achievable and that there is no empirical evidence that wind turbines harm tourism. No great surprises for anyone there surely.

      Oh, and the subtext of course is that Donald Trump is a buffooon. YouTube caving in to pressure and removing the excellent Bohemian Rhapsody video has exercised me more than this report.

      • ParaHandy:

        yup, whitewash sets nothing alight, eh? You missed the big “if”? eg “achievable [if] issues with the planning system, access to finance, infrastructure development and skills provision are all addressed”.

        • admin:

          As far as I can see these issues are being addressed and will continue to be addressed. Your glass is half empty again!

          • ParaHandy:

            You lot are sounding more like Blair who thought addressing an issue was as good as fixing it.

            A German would say that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

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