Turbine titan Vestas is doubling its loan facility, as the Danish-headquartered engineering firm celebrates delivering the 1,000th giant blade from its UK base, and gears up to create up to 2,000 new jobs in the North East.
This morning the manufacturer told investors it had secured Euro 2 Billion-worth of multi-currency revolving credit. Banks led by HSBC and Skandinaviska Enskilda will add to the firm’s working capital, if Vestas meets its own sustainability targets in decarbonising its operations and supply chain.
More jobs look certain be created in Britain as the firm, maker of the world’s longest blades at 115.5 metres, prepares to provide giant turbines – known in Germany as ‘white asparagus’ – to several European offshore and onshore wind projects.
Earlier this week, workers at Vestas’ factory in Newport, Isle of Wight, celebrated the plant’s 1,000th offshore blade to be manufactured, destined for Total’s and SSE Renewables’ £3 billion, 1GW Seagreen venture off Scotland’s Angus coast.
Vestas confirmed that, if new projects to which it is committed succeed in the upcoming Allocation Round 4 of Britain’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) development regime, then it could be adding as many as 2,000 direct jobs here.
Henrik Andersen, Vestas’ CEO and president, confirmed it is already in talks with potential blade-and mast-making partners in the North East.
“With over 20 years in the UK…and significant R&D activity taking place here, we are truly committed to the UK”, said Andersen. “We are extremely proud of the onshore and offshore wind expertise that we have built up in the UK and are positive about the market potential being created from the CfD Rounds. Vestas is intent on expanding its already sizeable UK footprint”.
Of today’s doubled credit facility, finance director Marika Fredriksson said, “Following (Vestas’) strong credit rating ( – Baa1 – ) from Moody’s obtained earlier this year, strengthening our financial capabilities is the next natural step in our journey”.
“Linking interest rate margins with Vestas’ sustainability performance reinforces our ambition to integrate sustainability into everything we do”.