Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Scotland's cutting-edge renewables credentials further boosted with £6 million funding award to SHI

Energy Park Fife
Scotland confirmed its cutting-edge credentials in the renewable energy sector with the award of £6 million in funding to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) to support the development of its latest 7 megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbine prototype at the Energy Park in Fife.


The Scottish Enterprise award will support an intended total investment of £100 million in Scotland, which SHI announced last year, to launch a successful test demonstration project followed by turbine manufacturing facilities in Scotland in the longer term with the development of the market.

Finance Secretary John Swinney welcomed the consent for the new development and the Scottish Enterprise funding to develop the project, during a visit to Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.

Mr Swinney said, "Today's announcement marks a significant step forward in establishing a globally competitive supply chain for the offshore wind industry.

"This development, which is being undertaken by Samsung Heavy Industries with more than £6 million support from Scottish Enterprise, will utilise newly developed technologies which have not yet been deployed offshore – further confirming Scotland's commitment to innovation in the offshore wind production sector.

"Fife can play a key role in developing knowledge and research in the energy sector. The site at Fife Energy Park offers the ideal location for a cutting edge test centre like this."


SHI has already awarded multi-million pound contracts to companies in Scotland as part of the project to develop the test turbine, which marks a significant step in establishing a globally competitive supply chain for the offshore wind industry.

Marine Scotland has awarded Scottish Enterprise consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for the construction and operation of the Energy Park Fife Offshore Demonstration Wind Turbine.

Subject to the conclusion of commercial negotiations, SHI will begin construction of the 7 MW prototype turbine later this year. The turbine will be placed on the sea bed around 35 meters from the shore. The Crown Estate will provide the area of sea bed to allow the project to proceed.

SHI is one of the world's leading developers of offshore wind technology based on its expertise in wind, offshore structures and ship building technology.

Chan Hee Son, UK Project Manager of Samsung Heavy Industries said, "This announcement is a major step forward in our plans to develop our latest offshore wind technology in Scotland and is a real testament to the Scottish government's support of the offshore wind energy industry."

Fife is a key part of a growing cluster of economic activity on Scotland's east coast, supporting the development of the offshore wind industry – combining natural resources with industry expertise, existing offshore experience, academic strength, and excellent port infrastructure.

SHI's plans, along with similar planned investments from global energy players Areva and Gamesa, is helping to build a potential manufacturing hub on the east coast – which will offer huge opportunities for supply chain companies in Scotland.

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise said, "Samsung Heavy Industries' plans along with that of other key international players in the sector, are testament to Scotland's growing reputation as a leading global location for the next generation of offshore wind energy.

"The success of companies in Scotland in securing business from Samsung, demonstrates that we are building a strong supply chain – which is critical if we are to truly realise our offshore wind potential."

Scotland is increasingly becoming recognised as a centre of expertise for the next generation of offshore wind energy technologies and POWERS (Prototype Offshore Wind Energy Renewables Support) was set up to help create the right investment conditions for inward investors looking for the best location for manufacturing, including prototype testing.

Councillor Tom Adam, chair of Levenmouth Area Committee said, "Methil is well placed to be one of the leading centres for the global offshore wind industry. I am delighted with the confirmation of funding from Scottish Enterprise for the Samsung project. This marks another significant milestone in this project at Energy Park Fife.

"Although the demonstrator turbine will be the tallest man-made structure in Fife, it will be a visible symbol of Methil's commitment to job creation in the offshore renewables sector. The fact that the world's most powerful offshore wind turbine is going to be tested for the first time just off the Fife coast is a major milestone for the local community. This builds on the success of Energy Park Fife and the recent opening of Fife Renewables Innovation Centre. We hope that Samsung's commitment to Methil will be a springboard to other development and investment in the Levenmouth area."

Rob Hastings, The Crown Estate's Director of Energy & Infrastructure, added, "The Crown Estate worked closely with Scottish Enterprise to ensure Samsung can access the seabed to test and develop their next generation offshore wind turbine.

"We are delighted that Samsung's programme to develop this turbine has taken a big step forward and we’re pleased to have been able to provide certainty and support to Samsung in their endeavours. Their long-term investment is a hugely important contribution to building the supply chain in Scotland and in driving growth of a world-class offshore wind industry."

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