Supply chain jobs at the country’s biggest offshore wind farm project are being lost to China.
Skilled work on Seagreen in the Firth of Forth will be carried out overseas, fuelling criticism of the so-called “green jobs revolution” in Scotland.
Gary Smith, Scotland secretary of the GMB trade union, said: “This would be the death knell for any meaningful offshore wind manufacturing industry in Scotland – an utter scandal and a national disgrace.”
In 2010, the Scottish Government estimated that the offshore wind sector could create 28,000 direct jobs and lead to £7.1billion of investment.
Former First Minister Alex Salmond also claimed the Pentland Firth could become the “Saudi Arabia of marine power”. But Scotland missed out on hundreds of millions of pounds of work to foreign firms in the creation of the £2billion Neart Na Gaoithe offshore wind farm.
Other work on different projects has been lost to Germany, Finland and France.
It has now emerged that the Seagreen project, which could create more than 400 jobs annually and contribute £2billion to the UK economy, is also looking abroad.
Papers seen by the Record show that some of the work will be carried out in China’s Guangdong province.
Seagreen Wind Energy Limited, owned by energy giant SSE, was awarded exclusive development rights for the Firth of Forth Zone.
Smith added: “This is a Scottish renewables project and it is wholly owned by a Scottish energy firm. How can there be any justification for handing its manufacture to the Far East?
“There’s no green jobs revolution, new deal or just transition here. This is what political failure looks like and the credibility of government at Holyrood and Westminster is in tatters.”
An SSE Renewables spokesman said: “We are working with our industry peers, and both the UK and Scottish governments, to develop the capability of the UK’s offshore wind supply chain so UK businesses can further benefit from the opportunities this sector presents.”
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