South Korean company CS Wind is to build an offshore wind turbine tower factory at Machrihanish in Argyll after sealing a deal with Danish firm Dong Energy.

The facility, which will be built next door to CS Wind’s existing onshore tower manufacturing plant, will be capable of producing at least 50 towers each year.

Under the deal, Dong will get preferential rights to buy towers produced by the factory.

The agreement will safeguard around 70 jobs.

First in the UK

International Trade Minister Greg Hands said: “The investment shows global recognition of the UK's number one position in offshore wind and will lead to the first ever production of offshore wind towers in the UK.”

Emma Pinchbeck, Executive Director at trade body RenewableUK, said: “This news highlights the fact that this industry is creating highly skilled, sustainable jobs in Britain.”

Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager at trade body Scottish Renewables, added: “Scotland has world-class expertise in offshore engineering and a mature offshore energies supply chain which is ideally placed to serve this exciting new market.”

> Read Dong's announcement