Town still in hunt for turbine factory

A WIND turbine firm is still weighing up whether to choose Hartlepool for a multi-million pound new factory and 800 jobs.

Spanish firm Gamesa was expected to make a decision by yesterday on where to build a turbine-making new plant.

But bosses at Gamesa say they are still weighing up the options and both Hartlepool and the Scottish city of Dundee are still in the running.

Gamesa, which opened an offshore wind technology centre near Glasgow earlier this year, hopes to have the factory up and running by next year with the first turbines being produced by 2013.

A spokeswoman for the firm told the Mail: “Gamesa continues to analyse its future industrial implementation in UK based on different variables.

“In this context, Gamesa will take the decision on a finalist port for exclusive negotiations soon.”

Bosses say the major investment needs “a deep analysis of the site”.

The spokesman added that the characteristics of the port infrastructure and the area would be important, but the key decision would be based on other issues such as supply chain development, possible expansion of infrastructure and ease of logistics.

If Hartlepool is chosen, the 800 jobs would be just the start. Hundreds more jobs could be created in the supply chain.

Gamesa, which has 15 years experience in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of wind turbines, has 30 factories across the world in Spain, China, the USA, India and Brazil.

The Spanish firm has close to 8,000 employees across the world.