Proposed offshore wind projects could bring £15 billion to Scottish economy

Image: Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd.

THE partners behind a series of proposed offshore wind projects have said that up to £15 billion would be added to the Scottish economy through the works.

SSE Renewables; Japanese conglomerate, Marubeni Corporation; and Danish fund management company, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), are behind the plans.

The projects would be undertaken through the ScotWind initiative, which allows firms to lease areas of Crown Estate Scotland seabed for such developments.

If successful in their bid, the companies said that the works would enable a £100 million fund to directly invest into Scottish supply chain firms.

The firms added that they intend on spending of circa 50% with Scottish suppliers in the projects over their lifetime, with the supply chain fund also looking to upgrade Scottish port facilities, contractual security requirements and helping firms transition into the offshore wind sector.

Paul Cooley, director of capital projects at SSE Renewables, said, “We are excited to announce this commitment which supports our assertion that the Scottish economy would benefit greatly from our partnership’s proposed offshore wind projects via ScotWind.  

“As well as a projected £15bn benefit to the Scottish economy, we’re also keen to emphasise our commitment to Scotland’s supply chain by revealing that, if our projects are successful, we will launch a £100m supply chain fund to directly support Scottish businesses, including those from the Oil and Gas sector, to help them enter the offshore wind sector by investing in new equipment, plant and machinery, personnel, or training resources.

“The fund would also be designed to encourage the existing offshore wind supply chain to establish new facilities in Scotland and where possible the money could be used to upgrade Scottish port facilities to accommodate future offshore wind deployment.”

Hisafumi Manabe, president and CEO of Marubeni Offshore Wind Development Corporation, added, “We’ve been working closely with a number of existing offshore wind supply chain companies, including those in Asia, to explore the potential to establish new facilities in Scotland, creating local job opportunities, and economic benefits for those communities.

“The fund will be used to support the supply chain needs of each of our ScotWind projects, and its impact will be further enhanced by considering areas which offer a high potential for the export of services and products worldwide”.

Michael Hannibal, partner at CIP, commented, “Our partnership is fully committed to the UK and Scotland’s future supply chain and the green recovery and that is why £500,000 of this proposed fund has already been earmarked to help 16-24 year olds enter the industry and help the supply chain bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This announcement exemplifies the benefit of our consortiums’ local knowledge and global expertise which gives us the credibility and capability to deliver for Scotland.”