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SUPPORT has been announced this week for troubled wind
tower manufacturer CS Wind.
The developers behind the Creggan Wind Farm near Glenbarr have strengthened their commitment to the Machrihanish factory, saying they will continue buying turbines from CS Wind with a preferential procurement policy in place as part of its planning application for the wind farm at Glenbarr.
CS Wind is looking to lose up to 60 jobs and confirmed this week that it is continuing to go through a process of consultation with trade union officials and elected representatives.
‘This is along with appropriate weekly employee updates on the potential redundancies at CS Wind UK,’ a spokesman for the company said.
Burcote Wind, the company behind the Creggan Wind Farm, previously agreed a memorandum of understanding with Wind Towers Scotland prior to its takeover by Korean firm CS Wind.
This agreement saw Burcote Wind agree to offer Wind Towers the chance to supply its projects in the UK and Ireland where technically and commercially possible. Burcote announced in September last year, with the signing of a new memorandum, that it would continue to honour this agreement and work closely with CS Wind to secure local employment and support local businesses.
Now there are the terms of a new unilateral undertaking tied to the planning conditions for the project, obliging Burcote to procure towers from CS Wind – providing that they are a qualified supplier of the turbine manufacturer and can resource the delivery of the towers within project timescales. The undertaking also obliges Burcote Wind to give CS Wind a five per cent price advantage over other potential suppliers. The developer has taken these steps in order to increase orders at the plant and safeguard local jobs.
‘A visible pipeline of potential orders from developers like Burcote Wind is essential for local and UK suppliers and supports economic development and value added jobs in rural areas like Kintyre,’ said Lesley Black, head of UK Sales at CS Wind. ‘The UK supply chain for the wind renewables industry is constantly challenged to reduce costs and to invest and innovate to win intermittent orders, while facing strong competition and extremely low prices from supported competitors abroad.’
Fraser Campbell, the operations director at Burcote Wind said the company was ‘proud’ to partner with CS Wind.
‘If Creggan Wind Farm is consented by the Scottish Government our unilateral undertaking for the project means the consent will be conditional on procuring the towers from CS Wind should the price quoted not exceed the next lowest tender by more than five per cent. We have projects all over Scotland each of which offer CS Wind similar opportunities to supply the turbine towers.’
Brendan O’Hara MP, Argyll and Bute said he whole-heartedly welcomed the news: ‘any measure that can contribute has to be welcomed’.
Constituency MSP Michael Russell also said he was ‘delighted’, calling it ‘a positive initiative by Burcote’ and called it ‘an expression of support not just for CS Wind but for the excellent workforce at Machrihanish and the whole community of Kintyre’.