Thursday, 28 October 2010
Campbeltown wind turbine factory in administration
Argyll wind turbine factory in turmoil
THE future of a wind turbine factory in Argyll is in doubt only a year after the Scottish Government promised it an investment of £10million.
Danish-owned Skykon at Machrihanish in Kintyre suspended all payments to its creditors yesterday.
The company’s chief executive, Jens Pederson, said: “The wind turbine industry is project-based and it is currently being affected by a number of negative factors in the wake of the financial crisis. These effects have also impacted Skykon to the effect that we are in a very cash-strapped situation.”
Skykon took over the factory from Vestas last year when First Minister Alex Salmond visited Kintyre to announce the government backing, which was intended to safeguard 100 jobs and create 300 more.
At present the factory near Campbeltown employs 120 people.
Chairman Kaj Thoren said: “The board of directors has received indications from key stakeholders that there is a willingness to find a solution subject to certain conditions. As a result, we will now make a final attempt to pursue any remaining possibilities available to us.”
Argyll and Bute Liberal Democrat MP Alan Reid said: “The news that Skykon has suspended payments is a terrible shock. What made this even more surprising was that it happened the day after the prime minister announced a £60million investment in offshore wind turbine projects.
“There is clearly a huge demand for towers for wind turbines. The Scottish Government must step in and ensure that another company takes over the Machrihanish development from Skykon.
“Many local jobs depend on this industry.”
Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie McGrigor added: “If Skykon is not to continue, the hope must be that a new buyer will come forward to take on the factory and thus secure jobs and investment.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Skykon has not received £10million from the Scottish Government
– the firm has received £2.4million in regional selective assistance instalments to specifically support jobs at the Kintyre plant. Not a penny more will be paid until the matter has been resolved, and Skykon have assured us they are seeking a solution.”
“The Campbeltown base and its staff have an important role to play in ensuring Scotland continues to lead the development of clean, green energy technology and building a low-carbon economy.”