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Turbine tower manufacturing to return to Scottish Isle of Lewis

Manufacturing of wind turbine towers is set to return to the Isle of Lewis in Scotland after a package of incentives was negotiated with Camcal -- the company that bought the assets of turbine tower manufacturer Cambrian Engineering after it was forced into bankruptcy administration earlier this year. Under the agreement with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Camcal -- formerly known as Cambrian Caledonian -- will lease the manufacturing facility at Arnish yard at Stornoway to make steel towers and other equipment for the wind industry. HIE has approved £3.4 million of assistance to Camcal comprising a £1.6 million share purchase and £1.8 million of grants. Camcal is also to get backing from Scottish Enterprise and private investment business Charlotte Ventures. They are each investing £750,000 of equity finance. The Royal Bank of Scotland's asset finance business Lombard is providing a structured support package worth £4 million. Western Isles Enterprise, meantime, is to invest £700,000 in upgrading the Arnish site. Tower production at Arnish ceased in February when Cambrian Engineering called in the administrators (Windpower Monthly, March 2004). The company has started recruiting key staff and expects to create 80 jobs once production starts in early 2005. Local authorities and enterprise agencies see renewables -- and wind in particular -- as playing a major role in the islands' economy with manufacturing centred on Arnish.

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