Wind farm boost for steel mill

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The Dalzell Works in Motherwell could be handed a major boost if a new wind farm is the Highlands is given the go ahead.

The GFG Alliance has proposed a £170m development at Glenshero near Kingussie which will feature up to 54 turbines.

The Alliance comprises Liberty House, owners of the Dalzell Works, resources and infrastructure group SIMEC Energy, banking and financial services arm Wyelands, property holdings division JAHAMA Estates and GFG Foundation, which focuses on the retention and creation of engineering and industrial skills.

Not only are Dalzell and its sister mill at Clydebridge likely to benefit from low-cost power, but the steel to create the turbines is expected to come from Motherwell.

SIMEC, who are leading the project, confirmed that a key element of the Glenshero plan is that the steel for the wind-tower structures could be rolled at Dalzell.

The plan would then see it fabricated at a potential new neighbouring wind tower manufacturing facility.

Alliance chief investment officer and SIMEC chief executive Jay Hambro said: “Glenshero is a unique project in our portfolio. It would be built in an environment of zero subsidies, using steel rolled and finished in Scotland and then generate clean energy to support the Scottish metals industry.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for us to work with the local community and encourage their investment alongside our own. This is truly a win-win project for all parties.”

The Alliance has already undertaken extensive consultation to identify regeneration opportunities in the Highlands and is seeking to discuss all of its proposals and ideas with a wide range of community groups and local stakeholders in the coming weeks and months.

It hopes the broader project which will create hundreds of jobs in the area and includes the enhancement of existing hydro power stations and improvements to farming, fishing and forestry across the estate.

JAHAMA chief executive Duncan Mackison said: “Our aim is a joined-up plan with the different elements working together.

“For example, the assets of the estate, in whatever form, would feed into our industrial developments to help us to be even more ambitious in our plans for new sustainable manufacturing.”