Enercon aims for 4% global growth in 2011

GERMANY: Germany's largest wind turbine maker, Enercon, aims for revenue growth of up to 4% in 2011, with a much better start in turbine installation over the previous year.

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The company intends to install about 3.2GW of turbines worldwide in 2011, of which 1GW should be in Germany. Around 2.85GW of Enercon capacity went up around the world in 2010, down from 3.2GW in 2009. In 2012, installations could reach 3.4GW.

Privately owned Enercon briefly lifted the wraps on its business development at the Hannover Messe trade fair in early April.

After EUR3.65 billion in 2010, it is heading for EUR3.7-3.8 billion in 2011. Revenues in 2012 are expected to lie in the range EUR3.8-3.9 billion, indicating that growth could reach as much as 5% that year.

"We will only build the amount of turbines for which we can subsequently provide proper service," said head of production Klaus Peters. "Technology is changing fast and training is one of the big challenges," added managing director Hans-Dieter Kettwig. "Often people have no idea how time-consuming it is to train people, one of the reasons why we will keep service in-house."

Installation of turbines in 2010 was slowed by the very cold weather in Europe at the beginning and end of the year. By the end of 2010, Enercon had installed around 17,400 wind turbines with a combined rated capacity of around 22.8GW around the world. About half (11GW) of the total was generating electricity in Germany. This year got off to a better start, with around 800MW of capacity installed worldwide in the first quarter, compared with just 400MW in the first three months of 2010.

Beyond Germany and Europe, the company has interests in Canada, Brazil and Turkey - but not the US, China or offshore. Enercon also plans to exit the Indian market due to disputes with its business partner there, the Mehra family.

According to BTM Consult's assessment of global installations in 2010, Enercon took fifth position last year with a share of 7.2%, behind Vestas (14.8%), Sinovel (11.1%), Goldwind (9.5%) and GE Wind (9.6%), but ahead of Suzlon (6.9%), Dongfang (6.7%), Gamesa (6.6%) and Siemens (5.9%) (see page 92). Its market share of installations in Europe in 2010 was 26%. In its native Germany, Enercon took a 59% market share in 2010, after a 60% share in 2009, and aims to remain at over 50%.

Over the next few year years, Enercon's new 3MW turbine with a rotor diameter of 101 metres is expected to become an increasingly popular workhorse. Especially suitable for lower wind speeds, around 60 will be installed in 2011, followed by 250 in 2012. The new machine could play an important role in repowering old wind farms reaching the end of their life.

Enercon expects repowering to take off in Germany in 2013-14. The company also sees enormous potential for repowering in Spain, where some 20GW of old, small turbines are in operation. A showcase project was completed in 2008, replacing 246 small turbines totalling 30.6MW with 37 Enercon turbines totalling 74MW in Tarifa, Andalusia. The company set up its first office in Spain back in 2000 and opened an office in Madrid in October 2010.

Investment is currently focused on factories using new semi-automated procedures that are under construction in Aurich, Lower Saxony, where the company is headquartered, and at Haren, in Emsland district, close to the Europort docks facility. The Aurich facility will see the manufacture of blades for the new 3MW machine with a rotor blade diameter of 101 metres. The Haren factory will make the 50-metre blades and other components.

As an efficiency and energy-saving measure, Enercon is building up its rail transport facilities, now running several locomotives and around 215 rail wagons. With a licence to operate Germany-wide, it has established nodes in western, southern and eastern Germany as well as in Aurich and Emsland to connect manufacturing centres with components suppliers.

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