Two global wind farm manufacturers stepped up their commitment to Britain's growing renewable energy industry Thursday by planning to build factories in Hull and Scotland, creating up to 1,000 jobs.
But their investments depend on securing a share of the 60 million pound ($95.9 million) budget that the government has earmarked for adapting Britain's ports to growing demand for renewable energy infrastructure, the companies said.
German engineering services company Siemens and Spanish wind power developer Gamesa announced Thursday they had signed initial contracts to build wind turbine factories and a research center at the port of Hull and in Dundee and Glasgow, respectively.
The race for offshore wind manufacturing jobs is on (...) I'm determined the UK economy benefits from the opportunities and jobs of the offshore wind supply chain, said Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne.
Together these projects would create up to 1,000 jobs at a time when workers across the country are increasingly worried about losing employment amid severe government spending cuts.
Our plans for Glasgow and the potential for Dundee could generate significant local, skilled and sustainable jobs over the coming years, said Gamesa Chairman Jorge Calvet.
The government said it had not decided how to allocate the port funding and that it was waiting for proposals to come through, according to a spokesman.
Siemens said in October it was planning on opening its UK offshore wind factory in time for 2014, investing around 80 million pounds.
Gamesa plans to invest 150 million euros into Britain's UK offshore wind power industry through 2014.
At the beginning of December, Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced it would spend up to 100 million pounds over five years on an offshore wind turbine research and development center based in Edinburgh, adding up to 200 jobs by 2015.
Britain aims to build 32 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity -- equivalent to 32 large nuclear power reactors -- to meet legally binding renewable energy targets.
Statistics released by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) showed Wednesday that Britain had moved to the world's leading position in installed offshore wind capacity at 1,341 megawatts (MW), followed by Denmark and the Netherlands.
(Editing by Jane Baird)