United Kingdom

United Kingdom

British wind exports thrive

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Despite the near stagnation of wind energy development in the UK, two British manufacturing companies are proving they can export successfully even without the stimulus of a flourishing home market. At last month's British Wind Energy Association conference, blade makers Aerpac UK and tower producer Cambrian Engineering both reported how they had set up shop in the UK in anticipation of a growing British market for wind turbine components.

Aerpac UK is a subsidiary of Dutch blade manufacturer Aerpac BV and began manufacturing in Glenrothes, Fife, in early 1997. The aim was primarily to serve the UK market, but so far over 95% of the blades produced at Glenrothes have been exported. According to the company's Colin Anderson, the increasing worldwide demand for blades meant the company had to move this summer to larger premises in Kircaldy. The workforce, too, is set to expand from 100 at present to around 200 by the end of 1999.

From Cambrian Engineering, based at Bangor in north Wales, David Williams has a similar story to tell. Cambrian converted to manufacturing towers three years ago. But while UK demand has slowed to a trickle, export demand is helping to compensate. Of 83 towers ordered so far this year, 66-or 80% of the company's production-have gone overseas to countries including Netherlands, Germany, Crete, Greece, the USA and Denmark.

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