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Vestas presses on with plans for UK offshore turbine plant

Danish wind giant Vestas has submitted a planning application for its proposed offshore turbine manufacturing facility in southeast England.

The application has been submitted to the local authority in Sheerness, Kent, for the plant, which will create 2,000 jobs if it goes ahead.

Vestas has stressed repeatedly that it will only proceed if it receives orders for its new V164 7MW turbine – and if the offshore wind sector receives what it deems the necessary level of support from the UK government.

But it is under increasing pressure to push ahead with its plans for the new factory, as the timeframe for the beginning of construction at the giant UK Round 3 projects gets closer.

Arch-rival Siemens lodged its planning application for its Green Port Hull site in December.

“The planning application is a significant milestone which brings us a step closer towards making this project a reality,” says Lars Eriksen, chief project manager at Vestas.

“Subject to planning consent and a satisfactory order pipeline for the V164-7.0 MW turbine, our aim will be to move into the construction phase as quickly as possible, so as to be in a position to begin operations in 2015.”

A decision on the planning application is expected in May. Swale Borough Council leader Andrew Bowles says: “We are tremendously pleased that the planning application has been submitted because it shows the project is moving ahead.”