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Siemens plans offshore facility in Manchester

UK: Siemens has announced plans to build a development facility in northwest England, to test its next generation offshore wind turbine.

Siemens new 6MW turbine will replace the SWT 3.6 107, rated by many industry observers as one of the most reliable offshore machines
Siemens new 6MW turbine will replace the SWT 3.6 107, rated by many industry observers as one of the most reliable offshore machines

The plant will be located at Withington, south Manchester, close to Siemens’ UK headquarters. According to the Manchester Evening Post, around 170 jobs will be created by the move.

Earlier this year, Siemens announced it was planning to invest in a multi-million pound UK factory.

Speaking about the project at the time, Siemens president Peter Löscher said: "In the foreseeable future the wind power market in the UK will be characterized by major offshore projects, and we'll extend our market leadership with the new production plant."

Siemens’ latest generation offshore turbine will be produced in the UK. It will be the first turbine to be launched by Siemens since April when it introduced the SWT-3.0-101, its first commercial direct-drive machine.

Siemens has refused to divulge any details about the new product, other than it will have a 6MW capacity and will be direct drive.

According to reports and industry rumour, a prototype will be ready at the end of 2010 or early 2011. There is also speculation the turbine's capacity could be increased to a higher rating by the time it is ready for testing.

Speaking about the Manchester facility’s launch, Siemens UK managing director Juergen Maier, who said: "The new facility will form part of Siemens international delivery capability. We are delighted to be able to grow our business and the number of highly skilled staff in Manchester to support the company's growth in off shore wind capability."

Siemens move follows a recent news by Gamesa that it will base its worldwide offshore operation in the UK. Other companies building offshore manufacturing plants in the UK, include GE, Mitsubishi and Clipper Windpower.

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