Siemens picks UK for new wind turbine plant

LONDON Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:32am BST

The logo of Siemens company is pictured in front of a factory in Berlin in this March 28, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/Files

The logo of Siemens company is pictured in front of a factory in Berlin in this March 28, 2007 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz/Files

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LONDON (Reuters) - Siemens has picked Britain as the location for its new factory to make offshore wind turbines, creating around 700 jobs as Britain plans a vast expansion of offshore wind power.

The German conglomerate, which had been considering sites in Germany and Denmark, said it will invest more than 80 million pounds in the plant and that it was looking at locations on the east coast and in the north east.

Siemens said its decision comes after the British government last week announced a 60 million pound offshore wind infrastructure port development competition.

"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," Siemens UK Chief Executive Andreas Goss said on Monday.

The firm added that expected growth in the renewables industry meant the plant could be expanded in the future.

No turbines are made in Britain at present after Danish manufacturer Vestas shut its plant on the Isle of Wight last year.

Ernst & Young also said on Monday Britain had climbed up two spaces to reach fifth place in its renewable energy league, tying with Spain.

"The spate of recent announcements from the UK government reflect a more strategic approach by government in providing the right investment environment to bolster renewable energy deployment," Ben Warren, Ernst & Young's Environment and Energy Infrastructure Advisory Leader, said.

Britain early this year awarded licences for offshore wind farms with a capacity of 32 gigawatts, which it hopes will meet a quarter of the UK's electricity need by 2020.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley and Victoria Bryan; editing by James Jukwey)

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