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Nigg Offshore Wind, the UK's largest offshore wind tower manufacturing facility

8 December 2021

In the largest offshore wind manufacturing investment in Scotland to date Global Energy Group and Spanish company Haizea Wind have announced a £110m tower and component manufacturing facility will be set up at the Port of Nigg near Inverness. 

It will also be one of the first developer supported investments in Scotland with SSE Renewables and Mainstream Renewable Power in a funding package that includes support from the Scottish Government (through Highlands and Islands Enterprise) and the UK Government. The new facility will create 400 direct jobs and support over a 1,000 other jobs across the UK. 

Nigg Offshore Wind (NOW) will be a giant, 450-meter-long, 38,000m2 factory, capable of rolling steel plate to supply towers in excess of 1,000 tonnes each and other products, to the growing offshore fixed and floating wind industry in the UK and abroad.

SSE Renewables also said that it expects to announce a first order contract with NOW in the near future.

The world-class, Scottish-based turbine component factory, which expects first production of towers in 2023, will put offshore wind to the forefront of the Scottish and UK green economic recovery. The new NOW factory will firmly establish the Port of Nigg as a strategic offshore wind hub in the UK and will consolidate the Port’s existing marshalling and staging work for turbine components and foundations.

GEG chief executive Tim Cornelius said: “The announcement today of a state-of-the-art tower rolling factory at the Port of Nigg can and will be a leading example of the ‘green recovery’ in action. It will create more than 400 direct long term, high-value jobs, and will offer our existing clients and new customers from around the world with the opportunity to buy ‘Scottish’ – meaning offshore wind developers can achieve their local content targets whilst helping the UK economy recover in a green and sustainable way.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Haizea who will bring their tower manufacturing expertise and knowledge to the Highlands of Scotland.”

Haizea chief executive Borja Zarraga said: “Haizea is delighted to be partnering with GEG to develop a state-of-the-art tower rolling facility at the Port of Nigg in Scotland. We are recognised as world leaders in tower rolling technology and the UK is an important market for us to operate in.
We know how important local content is for our clients and customers, and I am very confident that when the GEG reputation for manufacturing excellence and the physical location of the Port of Nigg is combined with our experience, client base, track record and know-how, we will together deliver best-in-class, cost competitive towers to the fixed and floating offshore wind market for many years to come.”

SSE Chief Executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “Today’s announcement shows that SSE is willing to put its money where its mouth is to support development of the Scottish manufacturing capability for the offshore wind sector. We have worked with Global Energy Group and stakeholders for over two years to get to this point.
Global Energy Group has exciting plans for a world-class tower factory at Port of Nigg and our investment in the planned manufacturing facility demonstrates our continuing commitment to do what we can to support the development of a competitive Scottish supply chain and create local jobs. In addition to the debt funding, SSE also looks forward to fulfilling its role as a strategic backer and placing orders with the factory to meet our growing offshore wind pipeline in the near future.
SSE is in a unique position with projects of scale, such as Dogger Bank and Berwick Bank, to create sustainable, long-term supply chain opportunities such as at Nigg and the new GE blade factory in Teesside.”

Mainstream Renewable Power CEO Mary Quaney said: “Mainstream has consistently viewed the development of local supply chains as a vital part of the growth of Scotland’s emerging offshore wind sector.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates Mainstream’s commitment to investing ahead of the market to deliver practical, enduring and value-creating assets for the benefit of all in Scotland’s Just Transition to a Net Zero economy.
We are delighted to be able to work with Global Energy Group and all our partners, and to leverage our experience over the last fifteen years in offshore wind to create a sustainable supply chain for Scotland.”