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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

British tower maker back again

Troubled British tower and monopile foundation manufacturer Cambrian Engineering has been acquired by newly formed company Cambrian Caledonian Limited. The new company was created by players from the offshore oil and gas sector to buy the assets of Cambrian Engineering, which was put into the hands of a bankruptcy administrator earlier this year (Windpower Monthly, March 2004).

"The acquisition of the assets, and work in progress of Cambrian Engineering, demonstrates our commitment to bring skills from the oil and gas industry together with those of renewable energy to retain the UK as a serious player in this critically important energy sector supply chain," says new managing director Phil Smith

Smith says the directors are setting up a holding company. Together with other acquisitions in the pipeline they aim to create a multi-sector energy services group. Cambrian's managing director of 28 years, David Williams, is being retained as marketing director of Cambrian Caledonian. He took the company into the wind business in 1997, making around 500 towers at its base in Bangor, north Wales. Its expansion in 2003 at Arnish on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, to serve the emerging offshore sector proved to be fraught with teething troubles. Smith comments that moving into the offshore wind business involves different types of risk to onshore and demands advanced project and risk management skills.

The new company has secured the assets of the Bangor end of the operations, but according to Smith will not complete acquisition of the Arnish assets until "certain conditions" are agreed with Western Isles Enterprise. At full production, Arnish can process up to 12,000 tonnes of steel offshore foundations every three months -- equivalent to three wind stations of 30 turbines a year.

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