Strategic agreement between Areva and Scottish Government expected to create 750 new jobs
French offshore wind energy firm Areva has signed an agreement with Scottish Enterprise to locate a turbine manufacturing site in Scotland which could see 750 new manufacturing jobs created.
The announcement was made today by First Minister Alex Salmond on a visit to Paris.
Scottish Enterprise said no public money had been pledged as part of the strategic agreement with Areva.
The agreement will see Areva, one of Europe's biggest renewable and nuclear energy companies, locate turbine operation (nacelle) and blade manufacturing facilities in Scotland.
Although sites have yet to be agreed for the new facilities, they are expected to be located in the east of the country in the Forth estuary area.
Areva is currently looking at offshore wind investment opportunities included in Scotland's National Renewables Infrastructure Plan (NRI-P).
Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson said: “This announcement further demonstrates Scotland’s position as a leading contributor to the low carbon agenda and ambition to deliver safe and sustainable energy through advanced technology.
“Offshore wind is a key driver of the economic benefit of renewables and we will continue to work closely with Areva to support its development plans in Scotland and create ongoing opportunities for wider industry growth.”
The Scottish Government said the agreement with Areva will increase the economic growth potential from renewable energy.
Scotland’s renewable industry has attracted £2.8 billion capital investment since 2009, the Scottish Government said.
Mr Salmond said: "Scotland shares Areva's vision of a cleaner tomorrow. Today's announcement provides a further boost to Scotland's position as one of Europe's key locations for offshore wind and takes us another significant step further in achieving our ambitious carbon reduction t
"The manufacturing of nacelles and blades for these turbines in Scotland will deliver nationwide economic benefits as well as much welcome inward investment to the chosen location once that has been agreed.
"This is another powerful example of how attractive Scotland is for international investors - and is indicative of our shared energy future."
Luc Oursel, chief executive of Areva, added: “Areva’s industrial heritage and diverse portfolio has placed us firmly at the forefront of low carbon technological solutions. Scotland is known to be a pioneer in renewables and its commitment to offshore wind in particular was a key part of our decision to locate our future UK manufacturing base there.
“This new facility is part of Areva’s strategy to establish a manufacturing footprint that will cover the European market.”