Korean firm acquires Wind Towers Scotland

Perth-based energy giant SSE said it closed a deal to transfer its 80% ownership stake in the Machrihanish-based Wind Towers Scotland (WTS) factory to CS Wind, the South Korean manufacturer of wind farm tower structures.

SSE said the investment will result in the first factory in the UK to commercially produce offshore wind towers.

It will secure the existing 134 jobs at the plat and create up to 70 more.

SSE said CS Wind has announced plans to invest up to £14 million in Scotland and create new jobs in rural Argyll.

WTS, established in 2011 by SSE and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, is a specialist supplier of wind turbine infrastructure to markets across Europe.

It also provides repair and maintenance services to the wind industry.

CS Wind plans to extend operations at the plant to include the manufacture of towers for the offshore wind market.

“SSE has been a committed custodian of the Wind Towers factory for over five years and we’ve worked hard to help the business keep going in a challenging economy and become a success for rural Argyll,” said SSE director of procurement Sandy Biggar.

“Although turbine tower manufacturing is not a core area of business for us as an energy company, we were nevertheless determined to demonstrate our strong support for home-grown Scottish wind farm manufacturing by seeking out an ownership stake in the Machrihanish factory.

“Another driver was our desire to retain a UK-based supply chain to service our wind farm portfolio.

“Transfer of our stake in the business to CS Wind at this point represents a renewed growth opportunity for Wind Towers and job security for the staff there on top of increased employment opportunities for skilled workers based in Argyll and Bute.

“We’re delighted a company with the experience and prestige of CS Wind has chosen to invest in the future of WTS.”

Grant McPherson, managing director of WTS said: “We are immensely pleased CS Wind has announced this major investment in Scotland.

“Machrihanish is an ideal location for wind tower manufacturing with an excellent reputation and highly skilled workforce.

“The team at Wind Towers is completely supportive of this development and already looking forward to the opportunities to come as CS Wind has stated it has big plans to build on the current success of the factory.”