Small player shows ambition with 5MW model

CHINA: CSIC Haizhuang has been making headlines in China's wind-power sector. Most recently on 27 July, it joined the select group of Chinese manufacturers when it rolled a 5MW offshore turbine off the production line in its general assembly base in Chongqing.

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The company, established in 2004 by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), is a relatively small player among China's 80-odd turbine makers. In terms of total installed capacity, CSIC Haizhuang was the country's 15th largest in 2010, with 479MW in turbines, 1.1% of China's market share. In 2011, it remained at number 15, with 875MW installed, or just 1.4% market share. Its product range comprises 850kW, 2MW and 2.5MW turbines.

Lofty ambitions

However, CSIC Haizhuang aims to become one of the top-three wind turbine makers in China. "As a latecomer, we have to give equal attention to land and offshore wind power," said Tao Youchuan, deputy general manager of CSIC Haizhuang. "We keep an eye on the future of offshore wind."

CSIC Haizhuang's strength comes from its parent company CSIC, a leading shipbuilder in China. CSIC has scores of member units to form a complete industrial chain in support of Haizhuang, making it the only manufacturer in the country to build turbines with its own components, from blades, gearboxes and generators to control system, hubs, towers and even lubrication systems.

Backed by its parent company, CSIC Haizhuang set up a national laboratory for offshore wind-power engineering technology in January 2010, the only one authorised by the science and technology ministry. With the national laboratory, CSIC Haizhuang is dedicated to developing technologies for offshore wind turbines and innovations in offshore wind-farm construction, says company chairman Yang Benxin.

Foreign markets

The turbine maker is also eyeing overseas markets. In April, two CSIC Haizhuang 2MW turbines were connected to the grid in Iowa, US. CSIC Haizhuang plans to register a company in Detroit this year as its North American platform to seek projects and negotiate co-operation in the US and Canada.

But it is Europe that holds the greater attraction. According to Chongqing's municipal state-owned assets supervision and administration committee, CSIC Haizhuang will set up a joint venture with Chongqing Foreign Trade Group to expand into the European market. CSIC Haizhuang is in the early stage of acquiring and expanding an eastern European wind farm with Haizhuang turbines. The project will amount to 285MW, with EUR400 million investment and China Development Bank providing financial support.

CSIC Haizhuang claims to have independent intellectual-property rights of its turbines, although, like many Chinese manufacturers, it has close ties with overseas turbine designers. The 2MW turbines, its main products, were jointly developed with Aerodyn. On the 5MW machine, it co-operated with Dutch firm Mecal, KK-Electronics from Denmark, and Lehnhoff Consulting from Germany.

Based in Chongqing, south-west China, CSIC Haizhuang boasts convenient transportation conditions, as it sits along Yangtze River, the largest river in China. It keeps four assembly bases, in Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu and Xinjiang.

Despite its ambitions, the company is moving forward cautiously. In the face of financial and industrial challenges both this year and next, Yu Shaoqing, CSIC Haizhuang general manager, said the company will make progress while maintaining stability. The priority in the second half of this year will be to bring in more orders while increasing profits.

EUR400 million - Investment in eastern European wind farm being acquired by CSIC Haizhuang.

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