‘Huge’ windfarm for Lochaber and Lanarkshire factories


© thehighlandtimes.com

Back in March 2017 GFG Alliance (Liberty House and SIMEC) announced a £450 million investment in the Lochaber area subsequent to buying the Fort William aluminium complex and estate lands from Rio Tinto in a £330 million deal in December. This will be the UK’s last aluminium smelter putting it in a very good place to compete to produce car parts for the wider UK and European car manufacturers. Of course, India’s car ownership growth is the fastest in the world at 7.64% or 2.54 million vehicles in 2016 and is expected to grow by 775% to 2040 so we can expect business there too!

‘Lochaber once more’: £450 million deal for the Highlands

Now the owners plan a ‘huge’ £150 million wind-farm to power the alloy wheel plant but also the company’s steel mills in Lanarkshire. The company is also offering shared-ownership opportunities and thus cheaper energy costs to the local community too. The acceptable face of capitalism? Not a phrase I could have typed in my younger days.

The report does not quantify the size and power of the wind-farm but merely uses the word ‘huge’. I found this:

‘The costs for a utility scale wind turbine range from about $1.3 million to $2.2 million per MWh of nameplate capacity installed. Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 MWh in size and cost roughly $3-$4 million installed.’ 


These seem to be 2012 figures.

The pound is trading at about £1 to $1.3 so that’s a $195 million dollar windfarm with about 50 turbines generating around 100 MWh? Neart na Goithe off Fife is only 45MWh so that would be huge unless of course my arithmetic and/or assumptions are flawed. Once more, I await correction with a calm and modest mind,



11 thoughts on “‘Huge’ windfarm for Lochaber and Lanarkshire factories

  1. Clydebuilt September 8, 2017 / 8:35 am

    It says much about the monied class in the UK that no British investors came forward to buy up this fabulous facility, same goes for Jaguar Landrover and the steel industry.

    It’s great news that current owners not only bought the plant but have vision to develop it’s enormous potential. Again the same applies to Jaguar Landrover, with lots of new models and engines in the range.

    Reminds me of the British motorcycle industry, The owners weren’t prepared to invest in new models, although the chief designer had plans for a new range of bikes.

    Lions lead by donkeys, where Donkeys = Tories.


    • William Henderson September 8, 2017 / 10:10 am


      Also, reading the linked article illustrates the sheer value of the assets possessed by land in Scotland. Time for the people to have a fair share of that value and a say in what it’s used for. Income to the state means lower taxes for the many!


    • johnrobertson834 September 8, 2017 / 1:38 pm

      Yes, in war and in peace, self-interested under-educated elites.


  2. Ludo Thierry September 8, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    Hi John – Hi William and Cldebuilt – grabbing a quick coffee and saw the comments.

    I reckon Cldebuilt is being far too generous to the bloodsucking British monied class (including too many of those with a connecction to North Britain). Clydebuilt suggests the economic damage (carelessness?) of this class is akin to the ‘Lions led by Donkeys’ analogy – I would suggest ‘Lions led by Jackals’ might be more accurate. (I believe Jackals hunt in packs and specialise in targetting weak and wounded prey – and stealing other animals meals).

    I’ll swig down my coffee now! – Cheers, ludo


    • Clydebuilt September 8, 2017 / 4:59 pm

      Lions led by Jackals , I like that.

      Britain’s rulling elite are by Western Standards particularly cruel. Not nearly enough people realise this.


      • johnrobertson834 September 9, 2017 / 4:34 pm

        Yes they are. We need more TV drama to expose them.


    • johnrobertson834 September 9, 2017 / 4:32 pm

      Are Jackals so bad? I like the Donkeys version because the bray like Tories.


  3. Ludo Thierry September 8, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    Hi John – Hi Clydebuilt et al – aaagh – just managed to lose another post by letting my mind wander!!!

    Will try and recreate a pale imitation rapidly.

    I have been boring everyone rigid banging on about events in the world of print media. Well today’s story about the Trinity Mirror group negotiating for 100% of the curiously named Northern and Shell group indicates things are really starting to move – and a new crunch period is well and truly arrived.

    The Northern and Shell group consists of the Daily Express and Daily Star and celebrity magazine ‘OK’ and other bits and bobs. Northern and Shell is owned by Richard ‘dirty’ Desmond.

    Desmond acquired his nicknakme ‘dirty’ by his former ownership of the porn mag Penthouse (apparently it didn’t die with the 1970’s) and an ‘adult’ TV channel.

    Desmond is an interesting bloke. Money wasn’t inherited but made plenty. Involved in a curious US business episode which the media have widely reported as involving a New York mafia ‘family’ (deliberately? / inadvertently?). This deal turned very nasty and an ‘unofficial’ agreement had to be reached to settle things. To be fair to Desmond he takes issue with the wide media interpretation of these events.

    He has demonstrated an interest in charity fundraising and is involved with The Health Lottery and other projects.

    Politically he was widely reported to have bestowed considerable largesse on blair’s new labour. Then returned to the Tories. When Cameron didn’t show interest in The Health Lottery UKIP became flavour of the month. (With widely reported 6 and 7 figure donations being made).

    So far so very UK. There could be some implications for Scotland however.

    The Trinity Mirror titles have tended to back London Labour. Among their titles are the Daily Record and Sunday Mail. The beeb article observes:

    “If this deal does get through any regulatory hurdles, and meet with shareholder approval, it will create a newspaper group with an unusually disparate range of political views. The Mirror titles are pro-Labour; Desmond used the Express to boost UKIP after falling out with David Cameron, who refused to do more for his Health lottery.

    Not so long ago, the Express was more sympathetic to New Labour. Perhaps its political leanings are about to evolve again; and who knows whether its affection for stories about the weather, house prices and Princess Diana will survive this new ownership.”

    The really hard-nosed money men seem to be coming to the fore in the wonderful world of print media. The Holy Grail is to find the synergies in the shrinking market that allow large monetary ‘value’ to be unlocked (at least for a period) by the smaller (and shrewder) number of remaining players.

    The business model being applied in Scotland’s print media is utterly insane – excluding half the potential market. Will these money men be as willing to take a financial hit for the glory of the British Union in the way the more traditional ‘politically involved’ owners have been prepared to do? Who knows.

    I certainly look forward to headlines in the ‘Scottish’ Daily Express such as:

    ‘ “ANAS ATE MY SCOT NAT HAMSTER” CLAIMS DUMBARTON’S DIANA DOPPELGANGER JACKIE B’ (by-line Siobhan something or other). I might even be tempted by that headline myself.

    Cheers, Ludo


  4. johnrobertson834 September 9, 2017 / 4:36 pm

    Nice headline. Have you started a game. Ruth Davidson’s straddling exacerbated my aging water buffalo’s arthritis?


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