Perth headquartered energy company, Scottish & Southern Electricity [SSE] and Highlands and Islands Enterprise [HIE} have just sold on to South Korea’s CS Wind the wind turbine tower production company they established as owners in 2011 at the serially owned plant at Machrihanish in Kintyre.
The figure for which they have sold WTS is not being made public – which indicates that it has probably been sold at a loss – but the outcome means that SSE has unburdened itself of its 81% share and HIE of its 19% share.
Given HIE’s responsibilities, this will see it free up money to filter into other enterprises in its region; and in SSE’s case, wiht yhe ajor share of th sale price, it will help to fund the major investment – half a £Billion – that the company is making in subsea grid connections for renewable energy in the north of Scotland.
SSE had just announced the investment – in a 1200 MW subsea cable between Spittal in Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray – as part of its overall £1.2bn overall investment in the electricity transmission network in the north of Scotland. The European Investment Bank is putting up some of the funding.
This project is the largest investment in the electricity network in the north of Scotland for 60 years. It will create 600 jobs during the construction phase and fuel SSE’s in-house apprentice, trainee engineer and graduate programmes.
CS Wind is to invest £14 Million in the Machrihanish plant, in a move which would seem designed to protect the competitive position of the plant, secure the 134 jobs supported by current activities and create a further 70 jobs.
Argyll and Bute Council had, of course, earlier invested substantially in developing the habour at Campbeltown and the road approaches to it. to enable WTS to ship out turbine sections from there as appropriate.
With the Scottish Government – to the alarm of some and the approbation of others – having just announced its renewed commitment to getting even more wind farms into Scotland, CS Wind may well be aware of – and been made aware of – commercial opportunities arising from this pledge.