Wind farm bid in the West coast of Scotland to create a £300m Gateway for a New Era of Sottish Steel Fabrication
Ocean Winds have today announced that they will take a revolutionary approach to the Scottish Government’s policy ambition of creating a Scottish Offshore Wind Manufacturing Industry. The 1.8 gigawatt proposal for a bottom-fixed offshore wind farm in the W1 plan option area – named Hebridean Offshore Wind Farm, has the potential to be the gateway for a new era of Scottish steel fabrication. It is a ‘Special Case’ that will enable the establishment of a steel fabrication factory in Scotland.
By selecting wide-diameter steel tubular sections as the output for that factory, they intend to create a sustainable facility which will create a product which will be in demand no matter what direction future offshore wind development takes over the next decade.
Dan Finch, Managing Director for OW UK explained: “Two dynamics for the future of offshore wind are clear. Firstly, turbines are getting bigger. That means their towers are getting taller and wider, creating a demand for wide diameter steel sections. Secondly, turbines are being built in deeper water. Monopile technology has improved and the most economical way of developing water depths of up to ca 50 – 60m is using new XXL monopiles, again creating a demand for wide diameter steel sections. Although much of the 10GW of ScotWind will need to use floating technologies, all of the 8GW of the UK’s Round 4 will deploy fixed foundations – expected to deploy cost-effective monopiles. By focussing on the rolling and fabrication of wide diameter steel sections we give a new facility the best opportunity for a long- term market”.
The new factory will require a massive supply chain investment of £300m. According to Ocean Winds, this investment has now been made possible because the Scottish Government has capped the costs it expects developers to pay for leases in Scotwind. Finch explained: “The Scottish Government has matched its ambition with a financial commitment. Developers’ Option Fees which would otherwise rest in a government account, can be used instead to make early direct investment in the supply chain. We are ready for that challenge and have designated Hebridean Offshore Wind Farm as a special case to enable that to happen.”
Ocean Winds have outlined a list of actions which they say will deliver both the 1.8GW proposal, and an associated steel manufacturing facility in Scotland:
- Investment in a modern quayside, deep water site with modern handling facilities
- Incentivisation to attract one of the world’s leading fabricators to establish a factory in Scotland
- Investment of a minimum £300m to establish the facility
- A first order, from delivery of the Hebridean Offshore wind farm, which will require over 100 turbines and monopiles.
Concluding, Finch said: “In the Moray Firth, we left a legacy of low-cost low-carbon power. With The Hebridean Offshore Wind Farm we will add to that legacy with a competitive manufacturing facility, in the right place, with the right facilities, making the right product to take best opportunity of the offshore wind market, regardless of how it develops. We just need the site to do it.”
Read more about our bid ??hebrideanoffshorewind.com