Iberdrola expanding Scottish operations

IBERDROLA is expanding its Scottish operations after the Spanish infrastructure giant took work on its high-voltage electricity network in-house.

Work on ScottishPower's substations and network in the south of Scotland, north Wales and Merseyside will now be carried out by Iberdrola Engineering and Construction UK rather than being contracted out. The contracts are believed to be typically valued at about 100 million per year.

News of the change came as the group confirmed that 96 staff from ScottishPower's Energy Networks team have now transferred to the new engineering and construction business. The division – which has been running on a limited basis since last year with about 30 staff – is based at Bellshill.

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A further 150 jobs are expected to be created by the end of the year.

The Spanish group bought ScottishPower in 2007 for 11.6 billion.

Peter Jones, regional director of the new business, said: "This is a very ambitious and exciting project in which we are building an operation from scratch through a combination of ScottishPower resources, key employees from Iberdrola Engineering and Construction and new hires.

"There are major construction opportunities in the UK energy sector, and we hope that the business will continue to expand in the coming years."

As well as the work on the electricity networks, the business is set to support ScottishPower Renewables push into the off-shore wind industry.

Iberdrola – which is already working on wind-farm projects in Spain, Mexico and Poland – expects to create more than 200 jobs in the offshore wind industry in Scotland over the next five years.

The Scottish unit will also be working on the carbon-capture and storage demonstration project at Longannet coal-fired power station in Fife and on the building of nuclear power stations south of the Border.

The Spanish group is currently upgrading nuclear power stations in Russia and is developing nuclear projects in ten other countries.

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