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Vestas gets planning permission for V164 factory

UK: Vestas has received planning permission to build its wind turbine manufacturing and assembly plant at Sheerness on the south-east coast of England.

The Sheerness plant will assemble Vestas V164 turbine
The Sheerness plant will assemble Vestas V164 turbine

In January, Vestas handed the application to Swale Borough Council, in Kent. At the time, it was reported 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.

The plant, which will be operational for 30 years, will manufacture blades, as well as assemble nacelles, for the V164 7MW turbine. The towers and other components will be shipped into the plant.

The approval follows an announcement by Vestas earlier this month that it was delaying the construction of a V164 prototype by a year in response to market projections for the offshore sector. The first V164 is expected to be buit in 2014, a year later than planned.

The Sheeness plant would predominantly be supplying turbines for the UK's 33GW Round 3 offshore programme. However, despite the planning approval, Vestas has consistently said the plant will not go ahead without changes to government policy and the necessary orders to make it worthwhile.

Speaking to Windpower Monthly earlier this year, Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel 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."

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