Vestas' UK factory reliant on more orders

19th August 2011

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  • Renewable



Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas does not yet have enough orders to begin work on its planned factory in Kent, despite a 31% jump in revenue in the first six months of the year.

The turbine firm’s chief executive, Ditlev Engel, has confirmed it could have manufacturing operations up and running within 12 months at a site it has secured in Sheerness, but work will not start on the factory until more orders are confirmed for its 7MW turbines.

Engel’s comments followed the announcement that Vestas had made pre-tax profits of £6.7 million during the first six months of the year, following a £190 million loss during the same period in 2010.

According to the manufacturer’s figures it has already secured orders worth £6 billion, amounting to 2.9GW of capacity, and it remains confident that it will secure orders for a total of 7GW to 8GW before the year ends.

Engel said that while the long-term outlook for the renewables sector remained positive, companies needed greater regulatory certainty from governments to ensure the transition to low-carbon energy mix.

“The energy agenda will change, the debate now is about how much are we going to change and how fast, and what kind of vehicle we need to make that change [to low-carbon electricity]. Regulatory certainty is what we really need to make sure this moves forward,” he said.

Vestas announced it had signed an option agreement with Peel Ports to build a new manufacturing facility at the Port of Sheerness in May, just two years after it had closed a factory on the Isle of White. If the firm does decide to go ahead with the plant it could create up to 2,000 new jobs.


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