Siemens has announced it will create 700 jobs at a new UK factory making turbines for offshore wind farms, as a result of the Chancellor’s Budget 2010.
Siemens service workers at Sweden's Lillgrund offshore wind farm between Malmö and CopenhagenPhoto: SIEMENS
The UK arm of the German company said it will invest £80m in a factory on the coast of England, creating around 700 jobs, after the government last week provided £60m to develop port sites for offshore wind turbine manufacturers looking to locate to the UK.
Siemens has yet to decide where exactly the plant will be based, although it has narrowed its search to the North East and East coasts and is working with Regional Development Agencies to find the perfect site.
Siemens UK chief executive Andreas J. Goss said: “The UK government has created a stable framework to attract inward investment in renewables and offshore wind power in particular. The competition for land development, announced in the Budget last week, gives us confidence that the appropriate UK port infrastructure can be made available to support our production plans.”
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson welcomed the news and said the plans will confirm the UK as world leader in offshore wind.
Energy Secretary Ed Miliband said: “This is a vote of confidence from one of the foremost companies in the offshore wind sector, looking to set up a base in the UK. More proof that we’re exploiting the great natural resource that we have and creating the right conditions to attract investment. Siemens’ investment will help create jobs and help us meet our renewable energy targets.”
Last week, GE announced a €110 million investment for a new offshore wind manufacturing plant in the UK, which the company believe will create up to 1900 jobs.
The British government appears to be taking the right steps to secure inward investment from offshore wind turbine manufacturers.
A Siemens SWT-2.3-93 offshore wind turbine
Two innovative non-UK wind turbine companies, which received substantial government funding last year, have taken further steps in committing to UK manufacturing.
Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe this week signalled its intention to invest up to £100 million in a UK turbine research and development project in the UK, creating up to 200 highly skilled jobs, while last week, Clipper Windpower broke ground at a new turbine blade manufacturing plant in Newcastle, which is expected to create up to 500 jobs by 2020.
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills plans to grant Mitsubishi up to a further £30 million to support its project. That money is in addition to a grant of £0.81 million to Mitsubishi in December last year from the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Environmental Transformation Fund.
Meanwhile, DECC awarded Clipper £2.5 milliion from ETF in December last year, on top of £4.4 million from the Low Carbon Energy Demonstration capital grants scheme in September.
The government is continuing to invest in renewables innovation by announcing another call for proposals for £8 million from the ETF this week, this time specifically for smaller projects in the offshore wind supply chain.
The Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay said Mitsubishi’s announcement was a “massive vote of confidence” in the UK’s renewable sector.
“We are clearly now open for business and importantly we are now winning business.”