French wind power company Areva is to build a turbine factory in Scotland.

The facility marks the third chosen location for Areva’s plan to cover the European market from three manufacturing hubs: the other two are in Le Harve in France and Bremerhaven in Germany.

The deal was signed at the weekend by Areva bosses and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

The factory will manufacture Areva’s 5 MW turbines for offshore projects in UK. 

Areva said it had chosen to locate the factory in eastern Scotland “to benefit from a growing cluster of offshore supply chain businesses in the area”.

Areva chief executive Luc Oursel said: “This demonstrates the group’s commitment to contribute to the development of an ambitious offshore wind industry in the UK. The Scottish site will complete our industrial plan to supply European offshore wind projects and will strongly position us to grasp opportunities in the extensive UK market.”

Maria McCaffery, chief executive of trade group RenewableUK, said the deal was “the latest in a series of commitments by big companies determined to seize the opportunity to maintain Britain’s worldwide lead in offshore wind. It provides tangible proof of the growing importance of renewables to the UK’s industrial base.”

She added it would “inspire confidence among the energy investor community at a crucial time” ahead of the publication this month of the government’s much-anticipated Energy Bill.