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A major investment in specialist equipment to transport wind turbine components will result in 10 new full-time jobs at Edward Mackay Ltd (EML) in Brora and help position the company as a national specialist in windfarm development.

Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) is backing the development with a 210,000 financial support package for EML.

The 842,700 project involves the purchase of specialist plant and haulage equipment in order to transport wind turbine components - which are classed as abnormal loads - from coastal ports to windfarm sites in Scotland.

Established in 1958 as a road haulage firm, EML has grown steadily diversifying into the civil engineering construction work in 1963.  The company's entry into the windfarm sector began in 1996 when they carried out civil engineering works associated with the Novar Windfarm near Evanton.

At the moment, EML - which currently employs around 50 staff - is completing a 20-turbine contract in the Scottish Borders and has commenced a new contract for 21 turbines at Causewaymire, Caithness.

The onshore windfarm capacity in Scotland is growing rapidly and it is estimated that 1.5b will be invested in windfarms in Scotland by 2010.  Increasingly windfarm developers are looking for contractors who can offer a more integrated service.  This investment will enable EML to handle civil engineering works and turbine transport and installation as part of one operation.

Managing director of EML, Eddie MacKay said: "Having this specialised heavy equipment now enables us to offer a complete package to the developer.  It also provides extra jobs and strengthens our relationships in the renewable energy world.

"Having just attended an energy exhibition in Glasgow we have picked up some serious enquiries regarding this heavy equipment, including an interesting proposal from the Western Isles.

"We would like to thank CASE for their assistance in this new venture."  Carroll Buxton, chief executive of CASE said: "This project is excellent news for Sutherland, offering EML the opportunity to diversify from its traditional work, creating valuable new jobs and helping to widen the area's economic base.

"EML's expansion plans comes just a week after communications company, The essentiagroup, announced they were opening a contact centre in Brora creating 25 new jobs."