MHI Vestas plans to re-purpose a decommissioned, oil-fired power plant into a state-of-the-art painting and logistics facility for its record-breaking 80-meter turbine blades.
The new facility is the latest in a series of manufacturing investments made by the company as part of its comprehensive industrialization strategy underway in the UK.
This investment is a direct result of strong demand for the V164 offshore wind-turbine platform.
“As we saw in the recent CfD auction round in the UK, the cost of offshore wind continues to fall,” said MHI Vestas CEO, Jens Tommerup. “This is fantastic news for the industry and for consumers, and also a great challenge for us to optimize our operations in every area. Our new paint and logistics shop at Fawley will improve our competitiveness worldwide and strengthen our UK industrial footprint.”
The new facility, expected to begin operations in April 2018, creating up to 50 jobs, demonstrates the rapid industrialization of offshore wind – sending a clear signal to policy makers that with market certainty and large-scale projects, manufacturing investment and clean energy jobs will continue to expand in the UK. MHI Vestas welcomes the recent UK CFD budget and auction announcement.
“This new facility in Fawley, developed by MHI Vestas, is a further sign of the growth of the offshore wind sector in the UK,” said Energy Minister, Richard Harrington MP. “Our Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Strategy set out the opportunities for Britain in moving from fossil fuels to a cleaner future. This development is a fitting example as it reuses the site of a former oil fired power station to produce parts for new clean wind farms.”
The expansion of MHI Vestas’ blade and storage footprint in the UK will bring these functions closer to other manufacturing sites and closer to UK project sites.
The expansion comes as part of a larger, community revitalisation plan from the site’s owner, Fawley Waterside Ltd., who is committed to the establishment of a vibrant, new community with a strong employment offer. MHI Vestas’ planned use of the old power plant is central to this aspiration.
Fawley Waterside CEO, Aldred Drummond added: ”We are delighted to welcome MHI Vestas Offshore Wind as the start of our employment focused plan for the site. Fawley Waterside has enormous potential to be a major contributor to the wider economy and we are delighted to have a world leader in offshore wind energy and advanced composites join our vision to revitilise the area and further their investment in the Solent region.”