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Deal reawakens dispute

Scots offshore turbines to be made in Isle of Wight

SSE Renewables insists Scotland will benefit from the Seagreen project

A key contract announcement for Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm has reopened a dispute over work being awarded to locations outside the country.

Danish company MHI Vestas will build the blades and turbines for the £3 billion Seagreen 1 project in the Isle of Wight.

SSE Renewables, which will lead on development and construction for the new joint venture with Total, said Aberdeen-based Seaway 7 will install the seabed cables, creating 50 jobs.

A contract to build steel jackets has yet to be awarded with BiFab hoping to secure the work for its Fife yard.

The 114-turbine wind farm development 16 miles off the Angus coast will provide electricity for about one million homes.

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SSE Renewables managing director Jim Smith said the project “will contribute towards building a cleaner, more resilient economy as we pursue a green recovery from coronavirus”.

And UK Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Seagreen 1 will create hundreds of jobs while powering millions of homes and helping to cut CO2 emissions, highlighting the key role offshore wind will play in our journey to a net-zero carbon emissions UK economy.”

However, GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith said work for the turbines had once again left Scotland, following other recent contracts awarded to Far East companies, while fabrication yards in Fife and Arnish “lie idle”.

He added: “Today’s contract awards make the need for an urgent review of the wind power strategies of Holyrood and Westminster an absolute necessity.”

SSE Renewables insisted there would be benefits for Scotland

“The supply chain contracts associated with the Seagreen 1 project represent a significant opportunity for Scotland,” it said in a statement.

“Seagreen will create around 400 jobs during construction and will deliver an estimated £1bn-plus in economic benefits to Scotland and the UK.

“There are still a number of subcontracts to be announced included the subcontract for the fabrication of foundations which is still being negotiated and will be announced in due course.”

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