CHINA’S largest wind turbine firm is aiming to open its first European manufacturing plant in Scotland – despite concerns of Beijing’s growing involvement in key UK energy infrastructure.

Mingyang Smart Energy is one of eight renewable energy firms which is aiming to provide equipment to wind farms in the North Sea and kick-start an offshore wind supply chain for Scotland.

This month, the Chinese energy firm has seen a huge step forward towards its goal of opening its first manufacturing plant in Europe as the project has been upgraded to a “priority” status by the Scottish Government, the Scotsman reported.

As part of the Strategic Investment Model (SIM), the project is recognised by the Scottish Government as vital in creating a supply chain to the North Sea to ensure multinational developers can build a series of offshore wind farms off the Scottish coast.

The National:

SNP MP Stewart McDonald (above) said that deals with Chinese firms could pose a “risk” to Scottish energy depending on international relations.

McDonald, a member of the Interparliamentary Alliance on China who was recently targeted by cyber-attacks pinned on the Asian nation, said: “If we end up in a retaliatory situation with China, there’s a clear risk to our energy sector.

“At the moment there is practically zero discussion in the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and civil service about what a China strategy should be.”

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Mingyang Smart Energy, founded in 2006, is one of the world's leading wind turbine manufacturers. They sell a range of “typhoon resistant” turbines, which includes the world's tallest wind turbine, with blades almost as long as the Eiffel Tower.

The firm is based in China’s southern Guangdong province and has more than 20 plants across the country as well as research and development centers in both Silicon Valley and Germany.

Mingyang’s proposed plans to set up an assembly and parts manufacturing plant for wind turbines in Scotland could create up to 1300 jobs, it has been claimed.

Basing the plant in the UK would mean the Chinese energy business could sidestep antitrust scrutiny from Brussels, as the UK is no longer part of the EU.

The Scottish Government has said offshore energy “has the potential to play a pivotal role in Scotland’s energy system over the coming decades”.

The ScotWind auction two years ago saw seabed acreage sold and the winning bidders – which include energy giants BP, Shell, SSE Renewables, Orsted, Marubeni of Japan and ESB of Ireland – secure the right to develop wind farms.

The plan is that these proposed wind farms would generate up to 28 gigawatts of power once completed from 2030.

The proposed 28GW from ScotWind is almost two-thirds of the 50GW the UK Government hopes offshore wind will be generating by around the same time.