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Eleventh-hour rescue for 130 Argyll wind turbines jobs  

Credit:  The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 13 January 2011 ~~

Workers at a wind turbine factory which went into administration last week will return to work after a deal was struck with another firm.

Administrators from Ernst and Young were called in to Skykon Campbeltown Ltd after its Denmark-based parent company Skykon filed for bankruptcy.

The 130 staff will return to work today at the Machrihanish facility and wage arrears will be met after a deal with global engineering services company Siemens which will see production resume.

Siemens will provide short-term funding for an outstanding order of 30 wind turbine towers – already in situ at Skykon Campbeltown – destined for the Clyde windfarm near Abington, south Lanarkshire.

Staff at the Argyll-based company were informed of the breakthrough at a meeting with the administrators yesterday morning.

The company remains in administration and a buyer is still being sought.

Andrew Davison, of Ernst and Young, joint administrator with Colin Dempster, said: “We were mindful of the uncertainty facing staff at the Campbeltown facility and are therefore pleased to have concluded this arrangement in such a short timescale.”

The administrators are continuing to work through expressions of interest in the site and are providing further information to interested parties.

Mr Davison said: “We are encouraged by this latest development, though the desirable outcome remains the successful sale of the facility.

“We look forward to working closely with Siemens in fulfilling the order.”

Danish firm Skykon bought the plant, which makes towers for windfarms, from Vestas in 2009.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “We are very pleased with the developments announced today. The administrators are to be congratulated on securing this breakthrough which enables the workforce to continue and which confirms back-pay. Ministers, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Development International have been working hard behind the scenes with Ernst and Young and Siemens to help bring about today’s positive development.”

Source:  The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 13 January 2011

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