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Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 16:35 GMT
Scots yard lands wind farm work
Artist's impression of the offshore turbines
An artist's impression of the offshore turbines
Workers at Scotland's last heavy fabrication yard have clinched a big offshore wind farm deal.

Burntisland Fabrications in Fife has been awarded the contract to build two giant wind turbines for use in the Moray Firth.

The multi-million pound deal, creating 60 jobs, is for the Beatrice Wind Farm Demonstrator Project.

The structures will test the feasibility of a 200-turbine wind farm next to the Beatrice oilfield.

Located about 12 miles off the coast, it will also be the deepest and when fully operational will provide an estimated 300 jobs or more.

The five-megawatt turbines, two of the largest in the world, have been commissioned by oil firm Talisman Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

They would be capable of generating enough renewable energy to power the city of Aberdeen.

Energy potential

The Scottish Executive has set an ambitious target of 40% of Scotland's electricity to be generated by renewable energy by 2020.

A spokesman said: "The project will pioneer deep water wind farm development distant from shore and should help add to Scotland's growing renewable energy generation potential."

Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife, said: "There is the potential now to establish a world class industry cluster for offshore renewables in Fife.

"The executive must now create the right climate to move beyond offshore pilot schemes and ensure that large scale wind and wave projects are built in Scottish waters to plug the energy gap."

The 3m Scottish Executive and 3m DTi backing was announced last year by the First Minister Jack McConnell, who said the plan could have the potential to take offshore wind farm technology to a new level.

During the five-year period of the pilot project, Talisman and SSE will collect performance data, look for ways to reduce costs and develop operating procedures.

Scottish Renewables chief executive Maf Smith said the project showed groundbreaking new technologies were being developed by renewables companies in Scotland.

He added: "This contract is great news and highlights the jobs potential of the renewables industry in Scotland."

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