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Gamesa intends to choose the United Kingdom as the worldwide centre of its offshore wind energy business, and plans to invest up to 150 million euros there by 2014.
The offshore industrial plan, which Gamesa plans to implement beginning in 2011 in the UK, calls for the creation of a centre for offshore technology and the construction of one turbine blade manufacturing plant. Gamesa intends to conduct its offshore business port logistics and turbine operation and maintenance services from different ports of the UK.
Gamesa also intends to base the global headquarters of its offshore division in London. The London office will also handle sales, project management, finance and administration for the offshore business.
Prime Minister Mr David Cameron said “”I want us to be a world leader in offshore wind energy. That’s why we’re committing public money to ensure we have the infrastructure that attracts major manufacturers to come here and build their offshore wind turbines. The commitment shown by companies like Gamesa who want to come to the UK and invest is good news for jobs and growth and good news our clean energy future. This announcement is very welcome indeed.””
The United Kingdoms resolute decision to enact an ambitious offshore plan, along with the country’s support for foreign investment and the availability of large ports – which are essential in this business – convinced us to make the decision to base the global headquarters of our offshore activity in the UK. This will involve sizeable investments in coming years and will generate local, skilled and sustainable jobs””, said Gamesa Chairman Jorge Calvet.
Gamesa expects the construction and development of its offshore wind energy business in the UK to directly generate more than 1,000 jobs, with another 800 jobs created indirectly at the company’s vendors and suppliers.
Turbine systems available for future North Sea projects
Gamesa has previously stated that it intends to play a significant role in the offshore wind market to ensure that it capitalises on demand generated in the Northern European market, specifically the UK, beginning in 2015.
The company is currently designing and developing two families of offshore turbines based on the proven and validated technology used in its G10X-4.5 MW turbine system. The first two prototypes of its G11X system, with unit capacity of 5 MW, will be tested in the last quarter of 2012, with pre-series models ready for market entry in 2013.
Gamesa recently signed an agreement with Newport News Shipbuilding, a unit of Northrop Grumman Corporation, a leading US-based defence company and the No. 1 shipbuilding firm in the United States, to work together on marine wind technology. Gamesa and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding will perform the preliminary work required to install a Gamesa G11X- -5.0 MW offshore prototype, including site selection in the US, permit requests and the construction, installation and final testing of the prototype.
To meet projected growth in market demand in the medium and long term, the offshore wind industry requires new generations of larger-capacity marine turbines. To this end, Gamesa is developing another family of offshore turbines offering capacity of 6-7 MW, with a pre-series potentially available in 2014.
The turbine and foundation systems developed by Gamesa and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Newport News address the markets main concerns, including efficiency of civil engineering infrastructures (the No. 1 investment cost for offshore wind), turbine reliability, low maintenance requirements and reducing the cost of generating electricity.
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