INTERNATIONAL giants have underlined their interest in the offshore wind power generation market in Scotland ahead of a key licensing round.

French oil and gas major TotalEnergies said it has linked up with Australian investment bank Macquarie to bid for acreage in the forthcoming ScotWind round.

The firms expect to bid as part of a consortium that they have formed with Renewable Infrastructure Development Group, which is a wind specialist based in Scotland.

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The consortium said it would draw on the extensive expertise of members firms to “leverage Scotland’s domestic supply chain and deliver world-class developments that will accelerate the country’s energy transition”.

TotalEnergies, which was known as Total until last month, has already made a move into the wind sector in Scotland. In June last year the company acquired a majority stake in the giant Seagreen windfarm off the Angus Coast from SSE, in a deal worth up to £130 million.

It has a big North Sea oil and gas exploration and production business. This forms part of the Total Energies E&P UK business led by Jean-Luc Guiziou.

Macquarie is participating in the ScotWind bid consortium through the business formerly known as the Green Investment Bank. It acquired the bank for £2.3bn in 2017 following the privatisation of the organisation by the UK Government. Macquarie has a stake in Storrega Geotechnologies, which is leading on the development of the Acorn carbon capture and storage project in Aberdeenshire.

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Launched by Crown Estate Scotland in June last year, ScotWind is the first offshore wind leasing round to cover acreage off the country for a decade.

The round is expected to pave the way to around 10 new commercial windfarms being developed off Scotland.

Green Investment Group and RIDG announced in May last year that they had formed a partnership with a view to bidding for licences in the ScotWind Round.