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HIE set to invest in wind tower factory

Published: 03/12/2021

The £110m development is expected to create hundreds of skilled manufacturing jobs.

CGI of the proposed new factory at Nigg - image courtesy of NOW

The board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has agreed that the agency should invest Scottish Government funding to support the creation of a state of the art offshore wind tower factory at Nigg in Easter Ross. 

The £110m project is proposed by Nigg Offshore Wind Asset Company Limited (NOW), a joint venture by Global Energy Group and leading European tower manufacturer, Haizea Wind Group, Bilbao.  

The factory will produce extra-large offshore wind towers for the next generation of offshore wind turbines with a capacity of 12MW-15MW and beyond. 

The development is located within the Cromarty Firth which itself is a strategically significant hub for the UK offshore wind industry. It will support the further expansion of Scotland’s energy sector into renewables and the transition away from oil and gas; a vital step towards achieving net zero targets. 

By 2027 it is expected to generate annual turnover of £97m and create more than 400 direct full time equivalent jobs (FTE) directly at Nigg. HIE expects a further 300 indirect jobs will be created in the regional supply chain.  

Alistair Dodds, chair of HIE, said: 

“Establishing an offshore wind tower factory of this scale and quality will be a very positive development for the Highlands and Islands. It is a logical next move that will build on decades of experience our region already has in renewable energy development 

“As we pursue our net zero targets and move to a carbon neutral economy, this will be a great asset. It will complement the existing infrastructure of ports and harbours that currently serve the sector and establish the Cromarty Firth as an integrated manufacturing hub for the growing UK offshore wind industry.  

“And of course it will create hundreds of skilled manufacturing jobs, both directly and in the regional and national supply chain, and attract significant inward investment. 

“That’s why the board has agreed HIE should support this venture. We are now working closely with Nigg Offshore Wind to help finalise the funding package that will enable this project to go ahead and achieve its full potential.” 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“We need bold, collective action to tackle the global climate emergency, and the growth of our renewables sector over the next ten years will be truly transformative, helping to deliver a just transition to net zero and a greener, fairer future for us all.

“This significant investment in Scotland’s energy sector is testament to the skills, expertise and innovation within our industry. We are delighted to financially support this cutting edge offshore wind towers facility, through Highlands and Islands Enterprise, as it reaches this significant milestone, that will deliver high value, green jobs and bring multiple benefits to communities across the Highlands and beyond while playing a pivotal role in delivering offshore renewables growth in Scotland and further afield.” 

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