MHI Vestas to Build Biggest Turbine’s Blades in U.K.

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind will manufacture blades for its most powerful wind turbine on the Isle of Wight, southern England, the first step in a wider strategy to draw factories from the industry to the U.K.

The company, a joint venture between Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. in Tokyo, will begin production as early as the second quarter next year, depending on orders, MHI Vestas said today in an e-mailed statement. It will use Vestas’s existing research and development center on the island.

The U.K. has more than half of the world’s installed offshore wind generation capacity and is trying to build up a domestic supply chain. Siemens AG, which dominates the offshore wind turbine supply business, said in March it will invest 160 million pounds ($261 million) in a turbine factory in northern England to tap the British market.

“Our offshore wind industry is attracting global investment –- not just in building the turbines themselves but right across the supply chain and right across Britain,” U.K. Energy Secretary Ed Davey said in the statement.

Vestas in 2012 scrapped plans to build a factory in southeast England, after closing manufacturing facilities on the Isle of Wight in 2009.

Today’s announcement to build 80-meter blades for the V164 8-megawatt offshore wind turbine is part of a “wider industrialization strategy” in the U.K. that will create or preserve 800 jobs and contribute about 200 million pounds to the economy, MHI Vestas said.

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