METHIL Docks could become a busy working area once again if plans to build a foundry in the town go ahead.
A consortium known as RGR Foundry Ltd. aims to provide a factory at Fife Energy Park which, it’s hoped, will be the most modern of its kind in the world.
The premises will build component parts for wind turbines that will supply a worldwide offshore market.
If the plans are approved, up to 300 jobs could be created during the construction stage, with around 200-250 still needed for the operational phase.
A public meeting in Methil – attended by just eight people – heard raw material would be brought by sea for the foundry to manufacture the parts, which would then be shipped out to their destination from Methil Docks.RGR Foundry Ltd. hoped to deliver “sustainable business growth and development” to the area.
A spokeswoman said the venture, if approved, would hopefully “bring employment and business back into Fife” – although she could not say how much the project would cost.Planning consultant Adele Ellis explained molten metal would be cast into shapes and shipped out via Methil Docks to turbine operators around the globe.
Raw materials for the process would also be transported via the docks, said Ms Ellis, which meant no increase in road traffic around the site, other than the travelling workforce.
A planning application could be considered by Fife Council in around 12 weeks. If approved, it would be several months before construction work started..
The foundry, covering around 18,414 square metres, would be about 23 metres high and be built behind Station Road, housing a paintshop and machining area, among other features.
Use of electric furnaces meant there would be no noise or smoke emissions from the outside, added Ms Ellis.
Some residents were concerned about the close proximity of the structure to their homes, while the developer was warned that wind power generation could one day become “past news”.
Ms Ellis said the consortium was keen to address public concerns at various stages of the operation.
It also believed the renewable energy market would remain strong and worth investing in for some decades to come.
Around 200-300 workers, in a wide assortment of trades, could be needed during the building phase and beyond, into the operational stages.
The fact RGR Foundry Ltd. wanted to build the plant and invest in its production showed its commitment to the project, said Ms Ellis.
It was hoped to employ as many local people as possible, with training and apprenticeships offered as well as taking on established tradesmen.
One audience member said the foundry was a great idea but the environment and people affected by it had to be protected.