Gamesa reevaluates UK offshore investment

UK: Gamesa appears to have stepped back from plans to invest €50 million in the Scotland's offshore industry by 2014 following the global restructuring plan unveiled by new president Ignacio Martin.

The €50 million budget was revealed by Gamesa in January last year when it said it would develop a  blade manufacturing plant, and offshore logistics operations in Scotland, to go with its offshore technology centre in Glasgow.

Today the company is unable to give a figure of how much it is likely to spend on offshore in the UK, if at all. A spokesperson said: "Our plans and activity will respond to the needs of demand, timing and investment and the pace at which projects are developed." Gamesa is working with Forth Ports to locate a possible site in Leith, Scotland.

Martin's strategy has also affected turbine development. Recently, Gamesa announced it was planning to scale back plans to build a 7MW offshore turbine that was to have been prototyped in 2014 before going into production in 2015.

Today, Gamesa is saying the turbine is planned for the "medium-to-long term". Additionally, its 5MW offshore turbine, in development since 2010, is still going ahead although this has also been put back until Q2 2013. A 5.5MW turbine for onshore/ offshore use is also being developed. The first prototypes were supposed to be built this year.

Gamesa hopes the 5MW turbine will be certified by Q3 2013 with a view to installing offshore at the end of the year or early-2014.

Investor confidence in the UK offshore market has been hit by uncertainty over energy reform. This culminated recently in a joint letter, signed by Gamesa, Siemens and Vestas among others, warning the government over a lack of backing for the sector.

However, Gamesa is still coordinating the Azimut project to design and build a 15MW offshore turbine by 2020.