Boost for UK Wind Industry
Mabey Bridge grabs 53-tower deal with REpower
Order sees South Wales-based wind turbine tower manufacturer break the 150 barrier – one year on from its official opening.
Mabey Bridge has already manufactured nine towers for REpower, four of which are installed at Marr Wind Farm off junction 37 of the A1M (see pictures).
UK wind turbine tower manufacturer Mabey Bridge has secured a multi-million-pound order with REpower to manufacture and supply 53 towers.
The deal sees the South Wales-based company break the 150 barrier in terms of tower orders placed since the official opening of its £38m manufacturing facility in May 2011.
Production of the up to 80-metre-long, 138-tonne tubular steel structures has already started with the final tower set for completion by Christmas 2012.
The 53 towers are destined for wind farms across Cumbria, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and France.
On the back of this and recent orders, Mabey Bridge has introduced 24 hours-per-day working and now employs 190 staff at its 32,000 square metres manufacturing facility. The company has a full order book until the end of 2012.
Mabey Bridge UK director Alex Smale said: “I think a few eyebrows were raised when a bridge-building company invested £38m of its own money in a wind turbine tower manufacturing facility back in 2010. Two years on this investment is starting to pay off thanks largely to the enthusiasm among both technology providers and developers for sourcing turbine towers which are Made in Britain.”
“Our relationship with REpower has been crucial from the outset in that they showed faith in our ability to channel the intricate steel-shaping skills built up over 163 years of bridge-building into the related field of wind turbine tower manufacture.”
“As REpower’s preferred supplier in the UK, we are delighted that they have had the confidence to place another large order with Mabey Bridge and obviously chuffed to bits that this has seen us pass the 150-tower mark in just 12 months. Fewer than 250 towers were installed onshore in the UK in 2011 so from a standing start we’re pretty pleased with how things are going.”
Rick Eggleston, managing director at REpower UK, said: “REpower has worked closely with Mabey Bridge since the embryonic stages of their move into the wind industry, and we are now pleased to be part of this significant landmark for them. We look forward to continuing this positive relationship with them and supporting UK manufacturing.”
Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy, said: “I congratulate Mabey Bridge on winning this contract to make turbine towers for sites across the country, and for export. This really is a great British success story and an excellent example of the economic growth and jobs benefits that wind energy can bring to British businesses.”
Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK, the trade association representing the renewable energy industries, said: “This is another great example of a UK-based manufacturer expanding fast, keeping pace with the great strides forward which are being made by this country’s onshore wind industry. It shows what can be achieved by companies with the drive and imagination to grasp the enormous opportunities offered by the renewable energy sector.”
“It’s no understatement to say that we are witnessing the rebirth of manufacturing in the UK, with the wind industry providing livelihoods for thousands of hard-working families, as we make our transition to a low-carbon-economy.”
Issued on behalf of Mabey Bridge by Weber Shandwick.
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David Sawyer: 07770 886923 / 0141 333 0557 / email@example.com
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Further Press pics/interviews available. Pics show the first completed wind turbine tower sections – supplied to REpower – to leave Mabey Bridge’s £38m manufacturing facility in South Wales being installed at Marr Wind Farm near Doncaster in South Yorkshire.
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