Doosan Abandons $272 Million Scottish Offshore Wind Plan

Doosan Power Systems Ltd., a unit of South Korea’s biggest power equipment maker, abandoned a 170 million-pound ($273 million) plan for offshore wind in Scotland because of economic difficulties in Europe.

The power plant division of Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Ltd. scrapped the plan to develop offshore wind turbines due to “the overall economic conditions and liquidity issues,” South Korea-based Doosan said in a statement.

Doosan’s decision is a blow to Scotland’s goal to create jobs and foster an independent economy through building wind farms on land and at sea. Scotland, seeking a referendum on independence from the U.K., plans to get all of its electricity from clean sources such as wind farms by 2020, and intends to decarbonize its thermal plants with carbon capture technology.

Doosan abandoned its initiative in December, according to the statement sent by e-mail. The company had agreed to develop a renewables research and development base at its Westway site near Glasgow in addition to potential turbine assembly and manufacturing facilities. Those investments were worth as much as 170 million pounds and could create 1,700 jobs, the Scottish government said in a statement in March 2011.

Doosan “remains committed” to working in Scotland and the U.K. as well as to supporting clean energy solutions, the company said in the statement.

“Clearly we want as many manufacturers as possible to establish offshore renewables operations in Scotland but not every energy company can be involved in offshore wind,” a Scottish government spokesman said in an e-mailed statement.

Told at Time

Since Doosan’s decision, which it informed the Scottish government of at the time, Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA, and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. have announced offshore wind plans in Scotland. Gamesa, Spain’s biggest turbine maker, said it would build a 150 million-euro ($196 million) wind hub in Leith, Edinburgh, while Samsung Heavy Industries Co. is planning a 100 million-pound project for its 7-megawatt machine.

Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe Ltd. said in December 2010 it would invest as much as 100 million pounds in a Scottish turbine research center. Scotland could have about a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind capacity, according to the government.

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