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Unlocking offshore wind in Scotland with Hyundai 

HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and Scottish enterprise agencies commit to pursuit of floating offshore wind projects in major deal for green energy. 

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, Shona Robison, has warmly welcomed a new partnership agreed between Scottish Enterprise (SE), Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the world’s largest ship-building company and heavy equipment manufacturer, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Edinburgh. 

white electic windmill

Photo by Nicholas Doherty

HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, which is headquartered in South Korea, is a major manufacturer of the floating substructures used in offshore wind farms. The MoU is the company’s first agreement in Europe related to floating offshore wind manufacturing – and is being hailed as a considerable vote of confidence in Scotland. 

Wind power is already the largest source of renewable energy in the UK, with more than 11,000 wind turbines installed by 2023 offering a total of some 30 gigawatts, half from onshore and half from offshore turbines. That equates to more than a quarter of the electricity used in the UK.  

One reason the UK is so suited to exploiting wind is that we have a lot of coastline, the sea is often shallow and the winds are strong – the ideal conditions for harnessing such energy. Polls suggest wind power is also very popular with the public as a green alternative to oil and gas, and as a secure supply of energy. 

The new agreement signed with HD Hyundai Heavy Industries is just the latest development in the wind power sector in Scotland. In October 2023, First Minister Humza Yousaf announced investment of up to £500m over the next five years to unlock private investment in ports, manufacturing and assembly work that will anchor the offshore wind supply chain across Scotland. There is also the planned £350m Sumitomo cable factory in the Port of Nigg, for which up to £24.5m will be provided by the Scottish Government, SE and HIE.  

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison witnessed the signing of the MoU with HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and says: ‘This partnership agreement is a vote of confidence in Scotland and our offshore wind industry – demonstrating our ability to develop the international relationships upon which investment that will help us reach our climate targets is founded. Scotland’s offshore wind sector is key to our transition to net zero and this partnership is the next step forward in realising the economic opportunities from our floating offshore wind potential. 

‘Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise are playing a vital role in supporting a fair and just transition for the energy sector. Collaborations between our economic development agencies and global leaders with world-class expertise, such as HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, are key to delivering that ambition. This collaboration will play a key role in helping Scotland meet its climate targets.’ 

Hannae Choi, Senior Vice President of Corporate Planning Division and Wind Energy Business at HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, adds: ‘We are currently exploring ways to collaborate with various partners to develop the offshore wind market, including establishing a manufacturing supply infrastructure. We plan to expand the market by leveraging our world-class know-how in designing and manufacturing floating structures.’ 

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