Korean giant chooses Methil

Fife Energy Park
Fife Energy Park

ONE of the biggest names in world industry is coming to Methil for its first European offshore wind project.

Korean giant Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) wants to use Fife Energy Park as a test site for a new 7MW wind turbine.

It’s understood if planning consent is granted and those tests are successful, a gearbox assembly plant would then also be built at the Methil site.

SHI is now working closely with Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council in a bid to carry forward the company’s plans for the Kindgom.

First Minister Alex Salmond made the announcement yesterday (Tuesday) at the Scottish Offshore Wind and Supply Chain conference in Aberdeen.

Mr Salmond also revealed SHI has signed a multi-million pound deal with East Kilbride-based Clyde Blowers’ owned company, David Brown Gear Systems (David Brown), to supply gearbox systems for its next generation offshore wind turbine.

Overall, it is expected the scheme, if taken further, will eventually create more than 500 jobs in Scotland, although as the Mail went to press it was not clear when these would materialise and how many would be in Methil.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the investment further reinforced Scotland’s place in the development of the next generation of offshore wind turbines.

“For Methil to be chosen as the test site for SHIs’ new 7MW wind turbine is another example of this country’s ability to secure investment from global multi-nationals,” he added.

East Kilbride-based firm David Brown will design and supply the new gearbox system for SHI’s turbine and intends to co-locate a gearbox assembly plant to supply the Methil facility.

This, said Mr Salmond, was “a significant move”, in addition to the efforts of Scottish Enterprise, Fife Council and Scottish Development International, “in that it could see much-needed high-value employment in this area of Scotland.”

Councillor David Alexander, chair of Levenmouth area committee, said: “To have two partners exploring a major investment at Energy Park Fife, including one of the world’s best known companies, demonstrates the progress we have made over the past few years.

“Although it will be some time before significant job numbers are created locally, this is a real vote of confidence in our community and confirms that Levenmouth has a bright future ahead.”

Insik Roh, SHI’s chief executitive officer, said: “We are pleased to be participating in the development of the Energy Park at Methil at such an exciting time for the Scottish renewable energy industry.