Scottish offshore dreams suffer investment blow

UK: Scotland's burgeoning offshore wind industry has suffered a setback following the cancellation of a planned £170 million investment by Korean manufacturer Doosan Power Systems.

The Doosan 3000 is the Korean company's biggest turbine to date

Doosan said it had decided to withdraw its investment because of ongoing uncertainties over the European economy and the possible effects this could have on the development of Europe’s offshore wind industry.

Last March, Doosan announced its intentions to develop a 6MW turbine for the European offshore sector, beginning with the opening of a research facility near Glasgow that would have created 200 jobs. Eventually the company said it wanted to open a turbine factory in Scotland worth a further 500 jobs, plus an additional 1,000 in the supply chain.

The company said at the time that once in full production the new turbine could be worth up to £1.4 billion to the Scottish economy.

But the company has now decided to shelve its planned investment. "In light of the overall economic conditions and liquidity issues in Europe, Doosan Power Systems decided in December 2011 to withdraw from its plans for developing offshore wind turbines in Scotland," Doosan said in a statement.

Doosans withdrawal is a blow to the UK’s offshore wind industry, which is looking to attract international manufacturers and develop a homegrown supply chain.

A Scottish Government spokesman said it was working to attract other investment into Scotland's offshore industry.

"We are working extremely hard to secure positive investments in this area and since the turn of the year, when Doosan took their decision not to pursue offshore wind, both Samsung and Gamesa have announced their intention to develop and manufacture their next-generation turbines in Scotland," he said.