Gamesa commits to €150m UK offshore plan

UK: Gamesa has announced plans to invest €150 million in the launch of a global offshore division in the UK.

Gamesa CEO Jorge Calvet

The company's UK plans include basing the global headquarters for its offshore business in London, the launch of an R&D centre, a factory and O&M service centres at different ports around the country.

Gamesa said 1,000 jobs would be created by the move, which it would begin to implement next year. In total, it plans to invest €150 million between now and 2014.

It has been an open secret that Gamesa is looking to set up in the UK. Having a UK base will be central to securing lucrative supply deals from the country's extensive plans to develop the North Sea.

The announcement gives little indication where either the factory or the R&D centres will be based. However, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond recently visited Gamesa's headquarters in Bilbao in the hope of securing the plants for Scotland.

According to reports, Gamesa is looking to build facilities in locations including the Highlands and Dundee.

Recently, Gamesa has announced a series of offshore initiatives as it seeks to catch up with competitors such as Vestas and Siemens. This month it said it was teaming up with US shipbuilder Northrup Grumman to develop a 5MW offshore turbine. The turbine is planned to be ready by 2012.

Speaking about the Gamesa announcement, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I want us to be a world leader in offshore wind energy. That's why we're committing public money to ensure we have the infrastructure that attracts major manufacturers to come here and build their offshore wind turbines."