Areva sign MOU with Scotland for M5000 factory

FRANCE: Areva has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Scottish government to site its offshore turbine assembly hub on the east coast of the country.

The French company will build Areva's 5MW wind turbines at the plant. Areva said the move forms part of a plan to have three manufacturing hubs in Scotland, France (Le Havre) and Germany (Bremerhaven).

In April, Areva Wind country director UK Julian Brown said the company was looking at sites in the north-east of England or the south-west of Scotland. At the time, the company had shortlisted four locations.

The firm said it had the potential to create 750 jobs with the plant supplying contracts won through the UK's 33GW Round 3 programme. Manufacturing will begin in 2015.

The announcement comes a week after Areva CEO Luc Oursel unveiled plans to manufacture the company's M5000 5MW turbine in Le Havre in the Haute-Normandie region of France.

It was clear from Oursel's statement that various components of the UK's machines will be built in France. Areva was part of the Iberdrola-led consortium that was selected to for the 500MW Saint-Brieuc offshore concession in northern France.

Last month, Areva was one of several wind turbine manufacturers to petition to UK government over its renewables policy.

All of the manufacturers expressed concern at the lack of clarity in the UK's energy policy, especially with regard to the investment required for the 33GW Round 3 offshore programme.