Mitsubishi to invest up to £100m in Scottish offshore wind

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) through its subsidiary Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe (MPSE) has chosen Scotland as the location for its UK research and development centre. The plan is to develop a world leading offshore wind turbine with a high degree of technical innovation, representing an investment of up to £100m ($132.5m) over five years. 

The announcement includes the acquisition of Edinburgh University spin-off Artemis Intelligent Power (AIP), along with a commitment to establish the MPSE Centre for Advanced Technology (MCAT) within the Edinburgh area.

This announcement builds on the agreement with the UK Government earlier in 2010 to provide funding of up to £30 million to support MPSE’s investment of up to £100 million, and confirms Mitsubishi’s intention to invest in the UK. MPSE will work with AIP to deliver the unique hydraulic technology in a large offshore wind turbine, which the company expects will be a ‘game changer’ in the development of offshore wind power.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the project will reinforce Scotland’s position as the destination of choice for investment in low carbon technology.

MPSE will safeguard the 25 (FTE) existing jobs at AIP, and create around 30 additional high-value engineering positions in 2011. MPSE expects AIP and MCAT to continue to grow over the next five years with the potential to create approximately 200 (two hundred) jobs by 2015 as MPSE moves from R&D, through technology demonstration towards mass production.

MPSE Chief Executive Officer Akio Fukui said: “The successful development of this technology will make Scotland a key player in the offshore wind supply chain, potentially leading to the development of manufacturing capacity delivering to the Scottish, UK and European markets. This exciting project squares the circle of Scottish-Japanese industrial history dating back to when Thomas Glover assisted in the creation of MHI in the 1800s. The first Japanese naval vessel was built in Scotland in the late 19th century, and now the first game changing offshore wind turbine will be built here too.

“This builds on our existing partnership with SSE on low carbon energy developments, including offshore wind, and we are very pleased to be working with the UK and Scottish Governments to turn this vision into a heavy engineering reality.”

Dr Win Rampen, Managing Director of AIP, said, “This marks a huge step forward for the development of our game-changing technology. Drawing on the breadth and depth of MHI expertise and skills, AIP look forward to accelerating our R&D work with a view to our technology being used in turbines in UK and European waters by 2015.”

Charles Hendry, UK Minister of State for Energy said: “I want the UK to be the world’s number one destination for the research, development and deployment of offshore wind turbines.

“This announcement is a real vote of confidence in innovation in our renewables sector and I am delighted that the potential of this technology has been recognized by a major global player. This represents exactly the kind of investment we want to encourage in the UK.”

Colin Hood, SSE Chief Operating Officer, said: “Today’s announcement is another welcome step forward for Scotland’s aim of being the destination of choice for investment in renewable technology and project delivery. It builds on SSE’s strategic partnership with Mitsubishi and is a very positive signal that our common goals of delivering low carbon jobs and economic development are being transformed into reality.”

The deal has seen MPSE acquire 100% shareholding in AIP, which is based in Loanhead. AIP will continue as an independent technology company, and AIP’s current organisation of senior engineers will be maintained in order to continue the development of leading edge hydraulic transmission systems.


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