First Minister Alex Salmond has welcomed the announcement by world-leading wind energy company Gamesa of plans for an offshore technology research centre to be based in Glasgow.
The Spanish company’s proposals to establish an Offshore Wind Technology Centre could create an initial 130 engineering jobs with prospects of a further 170 jobs.
The company is also developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council and Forth Ports plc to advance a further potential development in Dundee around manufacturing, logistics and operations & maintenance (O&M).
If implemented successfully, Gamesa’s offshore plan could represent an investment of 50 million euro in Scotland and create 300 direct jobs in the country. Gamesa is developing two offshore platforms, 5 MW and 6-7 MW, to be deployed in planned offshore wind developments in the North Sea in the coming years.
The Scottish Government, including the First Minister, has held various discussions with senior management from Gamesa about Scotland’s renewables industry, including in September when Mr Salmond led a delegation with Scottish Development International (SDI) to the Company’s global headquarters in Bilbao, Spain.
The First Minister said:
“I’m delighted that Gamesa, a world-leading wind energy company, has signalled its intention to work with Scotland’s agencies to locate its Offshore Wind Technology Centre in Glasgow, potentially bringing new skilled jobs to the city.
“The Scottish Government together with key partners, have been working closely with the company to support this move and we are also working with them to develop the MoU which could see further jobs and investment coming to Scotland.
“I believe Dundee has a bright future as a centre of renewables development in Scotland.”
Mr Salmond highlighted Scotland’s huge offshore renewable potential and the country’s engineering excellence and added:
“Scotland has the greatest natural resources for offshore renewables in Europe and this hugely significant announcement by Gamesa underlines the strength of our human resources in terms of expertise in innovation, design, manufacturing and engineering. It is further testament to Scotland’s leading role in the global development and deployment of renewables.”
Jorge Calvet, Chairman of Gamesa, expressed his delight at the agreement and underlined his company’s commitment to the two Scottish cities.
Senor Calvet said:
“I am delighted to confirm our commitment to the UK and Scotland as we become more deeply engaged with the UK’s forward-thinking plans around offshore wind. Our plans for Glasgow and the potential for Dundee could generate significant local, skilled and sustainable jobs over the coming years.
“I would like to recognise the support and commitment from the Scottish Government and its development agencies during the ongoing discussions around these investments.”
Anne MacColl, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Development International, said:
“Scotland has more than a quarter of Europe’s natural wind resources and unrivalled offshore skills thanks to our decades of experience in offshore oil and gas exploration. Companies from around the world already recognise the scale of opportunity in the Scottish offshore wind industry, and to today’s announcement from Gamesa provides a ringing endorsement of Scotland’s strengths in research, technology and innovation.
“We recently established the National Renewables Infrastructure Fund to support the development of our offshore wind industry, and are committed to working with partners throughout the supply chain to achieve a world leading position in this field. We look forward to continuing to work with Gamesa on its plans to develop its presence in Scotland.”