Danish turbine manufacturer Vestas has scrapped plans to build an offshore turbine factory in Sheerness, Kent in southeast England, which would have produced its new V164-7.0 MW turbine.
Back in January, after Vestas announced job cuts of 2335 and closure of one its factories, we questioned whether the Kent turbine plant would go ahead. But last month, the scheme looked still on schedule as the company received planning permission for the development.
On Friday, however, Vestas and the Port of Sheerness issued a joint statement that “at this stage” the plans will not proceed.
The turbine manufacturer said its commitment to on- and offshore wind was not affected by the decision and will remain active in both markets in the UK.
Vestas says it will continue to build and test the first components for the V164-7.0 MW turbine at its newly upgraded Isle of Wight test facilities and is working on the development of a number of on- and offshore projects in the UK.
But Peel Ports chief executive Mark Whitworth expressed disappointment at the decision.
“We are extremely disappointed that we have been unable to conclude the agreement with Vestas. However, we remain fully committed to the strategy outlined for the Port of Sheerness of attracting major renewables manufacturers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the company announced today that is also plans to phase out production of its kilowatt turbine platform, including the V52-850 kW and V60-850 kW turbines, and halt production at its Hohhot facility in China, making 300-350 staff redundant.
The ending of production at the Hohhot factory will take effect this summer and save Vestas some €10 million a year in costs.
But in better news for the company, it has secured the contract to service and maintain over 1100 turbines in 30 wind power plants owned by EDP Renováveis (EDPR) across the US and Europe for the next seven years.
Vestas has not revealed how much the contract is worth, but it covers some 1897 MW of wind capacity.
For further information:
Vestas given go ahead for Kent offshore turbine factory (30-May)
Full steam ahead for Siemens and ABP’s ‘green’ port at Hull (11-May)
Turbulent times at turbine manufacturer Vestas (8-Feb)
Vestas to lay off 2335 employees to cut costs (13-Jan)
25 June 2012