China’s Dajin Heavy Industry has signed a contract to manufacture and supply monopiles for the Moray West offshore wind farm.
The award – the value of which was not specified – will see Dajin build and deliver 48 XXL monopile foundations using steel sourced from Chinese mills, the first of which is already in production.
However, the move to send more work for Moray West abroad was decried by local union organisers, who labelled it “another chapter in the sorry story of Scotland and renewables jobs.”
The 860 megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm in the outer Moray Firth is being developed by the Ocean Winds consortium, a 50/50 joint venture between EDP Renewables and Engie.
Up to 85 turbines have been consented, subject to an award under the latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) round.
The site lies near the 100-turbine, 950MW Moray East development, currently Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm.
The 10m-wide foundations will reportedly weigh about 2,000 tonnes each.
Dajin said it has established a project management team in Europe which will work to co-ordinate between the developers and its Chinese arm.
Dajin Heavy Industry chairman and owner Jin Xin said: “The contract signing with Ocean Winds for Moray West delivery is a great team work achievement – the key milestone in Dajin’s development strategy being largest foundation fabricator for worldwide projects.
“We are extremely proud that we can contribute into decarbonised and thus better world. With our growing capacities and capabilities, we strive to support unlocking offshore wind potential globally.
“We also do understand and support local economy benefits arising from offshore wind industry, and accordingly we will continue our efforts to maximise local content for every project we participate.”
The company now plans to build a new 100-hectare fabrication yard in the south of China and a foundation facility in Europe, as it looks to double production capacity to 2 million tonnes per year.
‘Same old story’
The award is the second major scope of manufacturing work for Moray West that has been sent outside of the UK in recent months.
In March, Ocean Winds signed a capacity agreement with UAE-based Lamprell worth in excess of £150m, covering the supply of 62 transition pieces, including 60 wind turbine jackets and kit for the scheme’s two offshore substations.
Comenting on the Dajin award, GMB Scotland senior organiser Gary Cook said: “New contracts, same old story. Scotland continues to fight for scraps from its own offshore wind market while the rest of the world carves up the spoils.
“The backslapping and self-congratulation across the renewables industry will sicken communities crying out for these opportunities, anger the public who are subsidising these firms to the tune of billions, and it should utterly embarrass political leaders promising green jobs revolutions.
“Moray West is adding up to another chapter in the sorry story of Scotland and renewables jobs. The challenge is clear that unless we start onshoring the green jobs currently offshored in their tens of thousands, then there is no chance whatsoever of a credible jobs transition.”
A spokesperson for Ocean Winds said there is currently no manufacturing capability in the UK for the scale of monopiles required by Moray West.
The vast majority of fabrication work for offshore wind farms operating off the coast of Scotland has historically gone overseas, to the chagrin of unions.
It is hoped that the 25GW of ScotWind capacity may change this by providing decades of work for local supply chains. However, a lack of suitable yards and manufacturing capabilities means there is at present only limited scope for building turbines and foundations in Scotland.
Meanwhile, turbine and services group Siemens Gamesa has signed a provisional deal that would see the Port of Nigg used as the assembly and installation port for project.
Should the scheme proceed, components would be marshalled at Nigg prior to installation and commissioning through 2024.