South Africa

South Africa

Suzlon and Nordex explore African expansion

SOUTH AFRICA: Suzlon is considering expanding its operations in Africa, according to Suzlon South Africa CEO Silas Zimu.

Speaking to Windpower Monthly at the Windpower Africa Conference in Cape Town, Zimu said that if the company’s venture into South Africa goes well, it will look at other countries on the continent.

"We do have a few requests from other parts of Africa, but the main thing is to be in an area where you can maintain your products.

"Emerging markets are our core focus. We see exponential growth," he said.

Zimu said Suzlon chairman Tulsi Tanti is due to visit the country at the end of May to announce details of several projects it is pursuing under the first phase of the country’s renewable energy feed-in-tariff (REFIT) programme.

The company set up an office in Johannesburg, South Africa, in October. Vestas and Goldwind, have also opened South African offices in the past year.

Nordex is also making moves in South Africa. Though it does not yet have an office there, it has appointed its first project development consultant, who is working on six potential projects under 50MW with local partners.

Martin Spinzl, Nordex sales manager for emerging markets, said its strategy was a more cautious than that of other manufacturers who have already opened offices. It will open in South Africa when it gets its first project confirmed, he said.

"Tenders are often done by consultancies in Europe so there’s no need to have a local presence," he said.

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