Vestas is to build a blade manufacturing facility in China. It will be the Danish turbine supplier's first large scale investment in the country and is expected to become operational by the end of the year. Possible sites under consideration for the factory are Shanghai and North East China, with confirmation of where the facility will located expected this month, according to Jens Olsen of Vestas' Asia Pacific office. The decision to build the blade plant comes after Vestas won a EUR 61 million, 100 MW order for turbine supply at the end of last year. It will provide 50 V80 2 MW wind turbines for China's Rudong wind farm, a state facilitated concession project. Under government rules regarding this project, at least 50% of equipment production must be in China. Rudong is due to be completed before September 2006. While Vestas will supply the turbines, remote control system and service and maintenance operations under the deal, Jiangsu Unipower Wind Power Company (JUWPC) -- which awarded the contract to Vestas -- is responsible for construction and operation of the wind farm for a period of 25 years. "We're very committed to the Chinese market, we see a big future here," Olsen says. "We're interested in seeing an increase of foreign and local players in the industry." He says Vestas has no problems meeting the mandatory 50% local production rate. For concession projects tendered in 2004, however, that rate is being set at 70%, which he says is of concern. "Our products all have type approvals and the components installed in our turbines must come from approved suppliers," he says. "The increase in the rate of localisation is increasing fast over a very short time. No doubt it will have an impact, not only on us, but on the whole industry."
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