Areva plans two turbine factories in northern France

FRANCE: French energy giant Areva plans to open two factories in the port of Le Havre, on the English Channel, if it is successful in the tender call for 3GW of offshore wind launched by the French government in July.

Areva's 5MW offshore turbine in use at Germany's Alpha Ventus project

Areva intends to bid for up to 1,750MW in partnership with GDF Suez and Vinci and 1,250MW with Iberdrola and Technip.

The two factories, which would produce blades and nacelles for Areva Wind's 5MW offshore turbine, could be ready as early as 2013, the company says. Le Havre was selected for the overall quality of its offer, including proximity to project sites, its logistical infrastructure and training facilities.

The factories could also potentially supply projects around the south coast of England. However, even if Areva does build the plant in Le Havre, this does not preclude establishing production infrastructure in the UK, a spokesperson said.

The government will announce the outcome of the 3GW tender next April, at the same time as calling for a further 3GW.