Argyll and Bute Council leader, Councillor Dick Walsh, has welcomed today’s ‘extremely positive’ news regarding the wind turbine manufacturing plant at Machrihanish.
His comments follow the announcement that Scottish and Southern Energy and Marsh Wind Technology have joined forces to secure ‘preferred bidder’ status to take over the plant.
The factory was placed in administration earlier this year when its Danish owner, Skykon, filed for bankruptcy. For the past two months, administrator Ernst and Young has been examining expressions of interest in the facility.
It has now been confirmed that the newly-created joint venture – Wind Towers Ltd - has secured ‘preferred bidder’ status.
“I am obviously delighted to see that significant progress has been made as regards the continued operation of the manufacturing facility at Machrihanish,” Councillor Walsh said.
“Argyl l and Bute Council has been working closely with both local and national partners to ensure a successful outcome to this situation, and this is a very big step in that direction.”
He added that the announcement comes just a few weeks after he and several senior officers met with First Minister Alex Salmond to discuss the future of the plant.
“We never had any doubt that the combination of the excellent manufacturing and assembly facilities and the skilled, committed workforce would ensure that the plant would be of interest to some of the biggest players on the renewable energy stage, and that has proved to be the case,” Councillor Walsh said.
“This has clearly been a very worrying time for Campbeltown and the wider Kintyre community, and Argyll and Bute Council will continue to work very closely with all relevant parties in a bid to see this process through to a successful conclusion.”
Argyll and Bute’s spokesperson for enterprise, energy, culture and tourism, Councillor Neil Mackay, said he was delighted by the news.
“This area has long been in the spotlight in terms of renewable energy, not just for the abundance of on-shore and off-shore resources we enjoy, but also for the high profile of the Machrihanish wind turbine tower manufacturing and assembly plant,” he added.
“The announcement that preferred bidder status has been secured by such a strong joint venture with international experience, good industry links and a strong Scottish connection can only be good news.
“We are confident that Argyll and Bute will continue to play a major and increasing role in Scotland’s energy future, and we look forward to a successful conclusion to the sale of the flagship Machrihanish plant so it can continue its role as a very important part of our renewable energy infrastructure, as well as a valued local employer.”
It is hoped that the acquisition of the plant will be completed within the coming weeks.