AREVA’s plans to establish a factory making blades and nacelles for offshore wind turbines, which would also act as a base for installing them in the North Sea, would create 750 jobs.

The company says it chose the location in order to optimise logistics costs for UK projects and to benefit from a growing cluster of offshore supply chain businesses in the area.

Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Scottish government body, Scottish Enterprise, AREVA group hopes it can establish a manufacturing base that will cover the European market from three main industrial hubs in Germany (Bremerhaven), France (Le Havre) and the UK (Eastern Scotland).

Commenting on the agreement, David Cameron 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.

“Scotland benefits from UK wide initiatives to promote renewables and access to the entire UK consumer market. The Coalition Government has introduced the world’s first and only Green Investment Bank, which, based in Edinburgh and London, is an example of one of the many ways in which we are stronger together, harnessing our combined strengths to become a world leader.

“In addition to the economic security that comes from being part of one of the world’s most successful unions, this makes Scotland an obvious place for companies like AREVA to invest in.”

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey noted that offshore wind power was a multi-billion pound opportunity for the UK which the country should “seize with both hands”.

“With the biggest market in the world, a world-class skills base, and one of the best natural wind resources available anywhere, the UK is extremely well-placed to continue to lead the world in developing this technology,” he said.

Conor McGlone

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