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United Kingdom

Vestas submits planning app for Sheerness

UK: Vestas has submitted planning permission to build its V164 7MW manufacturing plant at Sheerness on the island of Sheppey, in southern England.

Vestas has handed the application to Kent County Council. The facility would create around 2,000 jobs and would be used for the assembly and servicing of turbines for projects in the North Sea.

Vestas chief project manager Lars Ericksen said: "The planning application is a significant milestone which brings us a step closer towards making this project a reality. Subject to planning consent and a satisfactory order pipeline for the V164-7.0 MW turbine, our aim will be to move into the construction phase as quickly as possible, so as to be in a position to begin operations in 2015."

Plans to build the factory at Sheerness were announced last year. The agreement covers 70 hectares of land at the port of Sheerness.

However, at the time Vestas has said the project is still subject to it receiving enough orders for the V164 as part of Round 3. It has also stipulated a number of other requirements, including public investment.

Despite the planning application, it appears Vestas is yet to fully commit to the plant. Speaking to Windpower Monthly this last week, Vestas CEO said: "Sheernees is a huge investment and it will not make sense if we don't gave the orders to back it up. We need to have the orders so when we invest the money we have the orders to back it up. There's still some time to go but we are in dialogue with customers."

Last month, Vestas announced plans to cut 2,335 jobs as part of a restructure and cost reduction programme.

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