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Argyll and the Islands Enterprise (AIE) is committing over half a million pounds to carry out additional infrastructure works at the Vestas plant at Machrihanish.

The 665,169 investment will result in the refurbishment of an existing building and the provision of additional storage areas as well as other improvements including the strengthening of an existing piece of road.

Vestas-Celtic Wind Technology Ltd is the Scottish entity of Vestas Wind Systems, a world leader in wind power generation. The company moved into the former RAF base, near Campbeltown, in January last year and now employ over 150 people.

AIE spent 9.4 million - with 3.5 coming from the EU - constructing the manufacturing facility for lease to the company who then invested a further 3 million in equipping the plant with its production equipment.

Managing director of Vestas, Tom K. Pederson said the further investment in infrastructure by AIE would allow them to expand manufacturing operations at the plant, especially in terms of the demand for the larger V80 - 2MW turbines.

He explained: "The market for wind turbines is now moving from medium sized turbines, towards larger units in increasingly bigger projects. Earlier in the year Vestas-Celtic received the first of such contracts to supply 30 units V80 - 2MW to the North Hoyle Offshore Wind Farm, located off the coast of Wales. We expect this will be the first of a number of projects using these large turbines on and offshore.

"The investment from AIE will help us optimise our production set up to accommodate this trend and thereby increase out chances to win similar contracts in the future."
Ken Abernethy, chief executive at AIE said: "Since establishing a base at Machrihanish last year, Vestas has gone from strength to strength to become one of the area's main economic drivers.
"AIE's investment in further improving the infrastructure of the site demonstrates our continued commitment to reviving the economy of Kintyre."