Musical chairs again at Machrihanish wind tower plant – with new owner, new investment, possible new major contract and possible hike in jobs

The recent takeover by yet another owner of the wind turbine tower manufacturing plant at Machrihanish in Kintyre – this time from Korean owned company, CS Wind Corporation – has seen a very welcome £27 M investment in the business from turbine manufacturers, Siemens.

Siemens and CS Wind Corp now have their eye on the contract – which seems to have been trailed as bait to sweeten the deal – to deliver the towers and turbines for the £2.56BN Beatrice offshore wind farm for the Outer Moray Firth. Beatrice is 40% owned by SSE with two international partners  – one Danish and one Singaporean – and is to be a 588MW capacity, 84 turbine installation.

Interestingly, CS Wind Corporation has a connection with Vestas, the first operator at the site – departing Kintye when its subsidy period was up, in order to chase the next state subsidy on offer, in the Isle of Wight. Apparently established in 1989, in 2004 CS Wind signed a partnership agreement with Vestas Towers A/C.

The workforce at Machrihanish has recently gone up to 170 from 135 – and now the Siemens investmnet is said to be expected to see this hike to 300 in eighteen months’ time.

Campbeltown has been seduced by job numbers for the wind tower plant so many times it must be getting a tad cynical – but if this latest white knight’s promises come good, it is likely also to being inward migration to the local economy since an additional 130 jobs might not necessarily be fillable from Kintyre.

The deal is also expected to lead to the towers being constructed in Argyll for the Beatrice offshore wind array in the Moray Firth.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • 170 jobs in Campbelltown is good. More even better.

    Is Jake suggesting the 170 should give up employment based on his news link?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    No Cheese Here July 8, 2016 1:35 pm Reply
    • The CS Wind already had plans to spend 80 billion Won on a UK manufacturing facility and had prepared for the approval process but abandoned it in favour of Machrihanish . The Machrihanish acquisition saved them about 60 billion Won. They bought the plant for £1 and were getting support worth about £10million ( as usual to be declared and auditable as capital and training costs), the deal being that the 135 jobs would be saved and secured. Of course it’s good news that the number of jobs increased from 135 to 170 and that this might yet increase to 300, but do understand that any additional jobs will be contingent upon additional “training support” from HIE.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

      jake July 9, 2016 1:02 am Reply
  • Yet more traffic congestion as the wind towers are transported on our most useless road.

    When will Argyll get decent infrastructure in place before such businesses are given the green light?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

    Lowry July 8, 2016 2:30 pm Reply
    • Given that these towers are larger in diameter than those currently transported, unless they are going by sea or air, they won’t make it north of Tarbert!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

      Arfur Sixpence July 8, 2016 2:40 pm Reply
      • AS, nearly all the towers go by sea, there is a ship being loaded now and it looks like another waiting.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

        richard July 8, 2016 7:23 pm Reply
    • Actually, no – I’m fairly sure that, as production has increased, the number of wind tower loads going out by road has decreased, in favour of the generally more efficient option of shipping them out by sea.
      Only the town itself is seeing more long loads, and the street layout has been altered to suit.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

      Robert Wakeham July 8, 2016 5:58 pm Reply
  • Keep up with play chaps. The investment in infrastructure on the roads from the factory at the Machrihanish Airbase Community into Campbeltown and the harbour means the turbines will be transported by sea. Be positive for a change – this is great news. CS Winds are a major player in the world market and their takeover is superb news for Kintyre and Argyll.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

    Hughie July 8, 2016 2:53 pm Reply
  • The mention of Vestas chasing subsidies calls to mind last year’s scandi noir serialised BBCtv drama about a crooked Danish green energy company – entirely fictional, but inspired by what, I wonder?
    The current news is good for Campbeltown – with the proviso that it becomes less healthy as a main employer in an area grows larger, with the economic health of the community rising but more and more dependent on the one employer.
    I can remember when – not that long ago – Campbeltown had a much bigger fishing industry, a shipyard building trawlers, an upmarket clothes factory and a specialist manufacturer of plastic model aircraft that I first saw on sale in a duty-free at a Paris airport. All gone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

    Robert Wakeham July 8, 2016 5:53 pm Reply
    • I completely agree with Robert , this is good new for the local area , but how right he is to warn of the dangers of being so reliant on one major employer . Tourism should be getting the same level of support and a new strategy for farming in the area drawn up with prospects outside the EU very concerning.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      Regularflyer July 11, 2016 7:29 am Reply
  • Might the ability to deliver by sea from the manufacturing base give the Macrihanish plant an competitive edge in supplying towers to offshore installations?
    All good, so long as they don’t start heading for Tiree.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    newsroom July 8, 2016 6:35 pm Reply
    • If anyone doubts the ability of sea transport to lighten the load on the A83 just look at Campbeltown on Ship AIS this evening – one freighter at the quay, presumably loading wind towers, a timber ship anchored in the Loch waiting for a berth, and another freighter anchored off Davaar Island waiting its turn.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

      Robert Wakeham July 8, 2016 7:35 pm Reply
      • Not exactly Rotterdam but with Independence this will improve!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

        A.Salmon July 8, 2016 8:16 pm Reply
        • AS. Why will it improve?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

          Alex McKay July 9, 2016 7:50 pm Reply
      • Robert, not only do the towers leave by sea but the steel plate arrives by sea.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

        Richard July 8, 2016 8:53 pm Reply
        • That’s very interesting!!!
          The Romans did that 2000 years ago!!!!
          Ukok holds Scotland back.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

          A.Salmon July 8, 2016 9:11 pm Reply
    • Competitors will have sea transport options as well. The installations have to go by sea for the final bit anyway.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      Arthur Blue July 8, 2016 9:09 pm Reply
    • Is Nimbyism a Great Btritish affliction ?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

      A.Salmon July 8, 2016 9:13 pm Reply
  • Having spent a couple of days at Mach1 Stages rally in close proximity to these enormous tower sections, the only way that they can out must be by sea! Two vehicles overtook me just after leaving the exit on the A83 from Machrihanish on Sunday – we caught up with them just before Tarbert, stuck behind a large crane under escort – that large crane was smaller by far than the tower sections awaiting shipping at Machrihanish.

    Glad there’s hopes for more employment in Campbeltown and Kintyre; they’ve suffered a lot and many thanks to the locals who were so welcoming to those of us coming to the rally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    Jade July 8, 2016 11:41 pm Reply

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