Siemens in Britain
Siemens will invest £80 million to develop an offshore wind turbine production facility in the UK. “With the new wind turbine production plant in the UK, we’re pushing ahead with our strategy of investments in attractive growth markets for eco-friendly technology,” says Peter Löscher, President and CEO of Siemens AG. “In the foreseeable future, the wind power market in the UK will be characterized by major offshore projects, and we’ll extend our market leadership with the new production plant.”
Sites under investigation for location. Siemens is exploring sites on Britain’s east coast and in the northeast region, and will make its decision about the facility’s location when the competition process for land development is complete. It is working with Regional Development Agencies to assess possible sites.The new manufacturing facility will produce the next generation of wind turbines for offshore application and will draw on R&D provided by its dedicated Centres of Excellence for wind power in the UK. The factory could be operational by 2014, with the first wind turbines turning by 2015.
More than 40% of the electricity from wind power in Britain is generated from technology supplied by Siemens. UK counts on wind for job creation. Prime Minister Brown has said new off-shore wind turbines could create 70,000 jobs but, last year, 600 workers lost their jobs when Vestas closed the country’s only major wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight. Vestas blamed the lack of demand for wind turbines in the UK. Last week, GE Energy UK announced the creation of 1,900 jobs with a planned €110m investment in the UK offshore wind sector by 2020 as a direct result of the announcements in the budget. Siemens was established in the UK 167 years ago and employs 17,000 people in Britain, with annual revenues of £4 billion. Its headquarters is in Munich, Germany.