Enercon grows steadily

Major German turbine builder Enercon plans steady incremental growth over the coming years.

Company turnover reached EUR3.4 billion in 2009, and is expected to expand to EUR3.5 billion in 2010 and EUR3.7 billion in 2011, according to managing director Hans-Dieter Kettwig, who was speaking at the Hanover industry trade fair in April. The 2011 figure will be almost double the EUR1.9 billion achieved in 2006.

A privately owned company, Enercon is immune to the pressures of stock-exchange hype and shareholder value. "We don't follow the herd and avoid the dangers inherent in business overheating," Kettwig said.

Enercon installed 3GW of wind capacity worldwide last year, resulting in a total capacity of 19GW (see graphic, right). The 385MW installed in the first quarter of 2010 was sharply down on the 642MW in the first quarter of 2009. Extremely cold weather in north-west Europe put a virtual stop to building work. "But the planning has been done; we'll catch up," said Kettwig.

Enercon expects to install 3.3GW in 2010, slightly more than in 2009. This will rise to 3.4GW in 2011 and 3.6GW in 2012. The company said last year that it expected to build about 4.5GW by 2013.

Enercon is also increasing its service staff to 3,500 in 2010, and up to 4,700 in 2012, to keep up with the level of growth, Kettwig said.

The company's Enercon Partnership Concept fund, a kitty serving as insurance against any potential major serial turbine failures, was raised to EUR122 million, and will reach EUR135 million in 2010 and EUR142 million in 2011, said Kettwig. This is a speedier expansion than forecast back in April 2009, when the company heralded an expansion of the fund from EUR100 million in 2008 to EUR115 million in 2009 and EUR120 million in 2010.

Enercon's predominant market is Germany, where it accounted for a 60% share of new installations last year. Between 1985 and the end of 2009, the company installed almost 10GW in its home market, or 38% of the total 25GW in place at the end of 2009. The company plans to install about 1GW a year in Germany between now and 2015, with an increasing trend towards inland sites, said Kettwig.

However, turbine installation in India, Enercon's third-largest market, did not increase in 2009. Enercon India says there is a "pending dispute" with Enercon Germany. An Enercon India spokesman, who did not wish to reveal his name, said it was to do with "the use of Enercon" but would not elaborate on whether it was the name Enercon or the use of Enercon turbines that was the problem.

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