Global Energy Group (GEG), the Scottish headquartered energy services company, has agreed terms with offshore wind tower manufacturing specialist Haizea Wind Group to build a £110m-plus state-of-the-art offshore wind tubular rolling facility at Port of Nigg, located in the Scottish Highlands.
Nigg Offshore Wind (NOW) will be a giant, 450-metre-long, 38,000 m2 factory, capable of rolling steel plate to supply towers which will weigh in excess of 1,000 tonnes each and other products, to the booming UK offshore fixed and floating wind industry in the UK and abroad.
Subject to successfully achieving financial close, the NOW factory will receive substantial financial backing totalling £15m in debt from SSE Renewables making the renewable energy leader the largest single UK-based strategic backer behind the NOW plans, along with senior debt being provided (subject to due diligence and approvals) by Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund.
Global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power is another key lender in the funding syndicate, proving £5m in debt, as well as a strategic partner in the long-term development of the facility. The factory is expected to receive funding support from the Scottish government via Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the UK government via the offshore wind manufacturing investment support scheme. UK government funding is subject to the completion of ongoing due diligence.
The facility has been designed to supply towers and other large tubular components suitable for both the fixed and floating offshore wind markets. Whilst the initial contracts for tower supply will focus on UK domestic supply, it is anticipated that the factory will be in high demand for export of towers and other products as well due to the rapid rate of planned offshore wind deployment across Europe up until 2050.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We need bold, collective action to tackle the global climate emergency, and the growth of our renewables sector over the next ten years will be truly transformative, helping to deliver a just transition to net zero and a greener, fairer future for us all. This significant investment in Scotland’s energy sector is testament to the skills, expertise and innovation within our industry. We are delighted to financially support this cutting edge offshore wind towers facility, through Highlands & Islands Enterprise, as it reaches this significant milestone, that will deliver high value, green jobs and bring multiple benefits to communities across the Highlands and beyond while playing a pivotal role in delivering offshore renewables growth in Scotland and further afield.”
Tim Cornelius, CEO of GEG, 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. The facility will also create more than 1,000 indirect jobs in the Scottish and UK supply chain. We are delighted to be partnering with Haizea who will bring their tower manufacturing expertise and knowledge to the Highlands of Scotland.”
Alistair Phillips-Davies, CEO of SSE 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.”
Construction is expected to commence in January 2022, subject to reaching financial close by year-end. Site preparation, construction and commissioning is expected to take around 18 months. The factory is expected to commence commercial production in 2023.