Vestas considers English plant for new giant turbine

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Danish company Vestas, the world leader in the wind turbine industry, said on Wednesday it was considering building a plant in southeast England to produce a new giant wind turbine.

The plant is planned for Port of Sheerness in Kent, some 75 kilometres (47 miles) east of London and would create up to 2,000 direct and indirect jobs if the Danish company goes ahead with its plan, Vestas said.

It would manufacture the company's new V164 giant offshore turbine, which has a record power of 7.0 megawatts and a huge rotor diameter of 164 meters (538 feet).

The company plans to launch production of the turbine in 2015 and needs a specially adapted factory to do so, it said.

"The UK represents the world's largest offshore wind market and as such has a massive offshore project pipeline," Vestas said.

For it to go ahead with its plan, the Danish company said it needed customers for its new pipeline and "a long term political and regulatory certainty."

"Job creation is a two-way street," Vestas said, with Vestas Offshore head Anders Soee-Jensen pointing out that "making (the investment) happen lies in the hands of the policy makers."

"We are looking forward to seeing the UK government providing the best possible terms for the offshore wind industry to truly take off and the potential jobs becoming a reality," he said.

Vestas' new V-164-7.0 MW turbine was launched in March and is planned installation on Europe's Northern shores.

"A turbine with components of this size demands new manufacturing facilities," Vestas said.

© 2011 AFP

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