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Suzlon plans 6.1MW Repower offshore introduction to China

CHINA: Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon is planning to introduce the 6.1MW offshore wind turbine technology off its subsidiary Repower to China.

Repower's 6.1MW turbine can be used offshore and onshore
Repower's 6.1MW turbine can be used offshore and onshore
The aim was unveiled by Suzlon chairman Tulsi Tanti in north China's Tianjin City. He said the company was planning to find a locally-based partner for the project.

The 6.1MW offshore wind turbine technology is developed by Repower, which was bought by Suzlon in May 2007. So far, Suzlon holds 91% of Repower. This move comes in the wake of Suzlon's announcement that it plans to expand its operations in China.

Tanti said the offshore partner will not necessarily be a wind turbine producer. He indicated it might be an enterprise with experience in offshore oilfield exploitation and offshore project construction.

When the partner is chosen, the two parties will jointly make plans on the supply chain, minimize production costs, and sell offshore wind turbines in the Chinese and foreign markets. "It needs at least three years to complete all the tasks," said Tanti.

If Tanti's plan comes to fruition, Repower's 6.1MW turbines will be the largest offshore wind turbines, in single unit capacity, produced by Chinese and foreign turbine producers in China.

Tanti said: "We plan to find out a local partner here in China to introduce the 6.1MW turbine technology to China, so as to participate in China's, as well as overseas, offshore wind power projects."

At present, China's leading wind turbine producers, Sinovel, Goldwind and Dongfang Electric, are all in the process of developing offshore wind turbines. However these units, ranging from 2MW to 5MW, are generally believed to be inferior both technologically and in terms of maintenance when compared to Repower, Siemens and Vestas.

Suzlon, founded in India in 1995, set up a production base in north China's Tianjin in 2006. The largest wind turbines it produces in China are 2.1MW in single unit capacity. It plans to push forward 2.25MW turbines in China soon.

At present, China is in the initial stage to explore offshore wind power projects. In May, China's National Energy Bureau started the tender for the country's first 1GW offshore project.

Suzlon and Repower did not participate in this.

Tanti also said on September 16 that Suzlon is planning to set up a R&D center in China and will export 120MW wind turbines, for the first time, from a China to Brazil.

In its long-term development plan, Suzlon hopes to get listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

In April this year, Suzlon has its supply chain in China. But it remained hard to compete with Chinese enterprises, because local enterprises have localized cost structure.

Suzlon is bringing high-end technologies to China and making its China plants more competitive. Suzlon used to be 20% higher than Chinese local counterparts in production costs. But the disparity is reduced to only 5% now.

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