Vestas to focus on low to medium wind

DENMARK: Vestas is set to focus on the development and sale of low-to-medium wind onshore products, according to the company's chief sales officer Juan Araluce who was speaking about the launch of the V126 3MW turbine.

Vestas predicts around 46% of the 60GW likely to be developed in Europe between 2013-17 will be on low-wind sites. "We'll always have competitive machines for high wind sites, but obviously the bulk of the commercial efforts will be for low and medium wind sites," said Araluce.

The V126 is a low-wind turbine based on the company's V112 3MW platform, which would also be targeted at the European market, "which is where the profits are", he added. He also said that the company would continue to evolve new versions of the V112 platform, which first launched in 2010.

Vestas also revealed key details about its V164 offshore turbine including upgrading its capacity to 8MW. The company released a video showing the 80-metre blade mould and the hub, adding it was sticking to its aim of building the first prototype in 2014.

However, the company's announcement contained no details about possible development partners. In September, Vestas made a statement about Mitsubishi taking a 20% stake in the company, and previously, it stated that a partner is pivotal if the V164 is to come to fruition. To some observers the delay makes this less likely.

Martin Lykke, the owner of Danish investment broker NPforex, said: "They need a partner to develop the V164. At first I thought the deal could be good for Vestas and Mitsubishi, but now it seems like the longer things take the chances of it happening go down. Mitsubishi could be playing a time game because they know Vestas needs the cash."

Vestas announced it has cancelled its severance payments to former chief financial officer Henrik Norremark citing deals made in India without boardroom knowledge. There are reports Norremark signed off purchases of turbine equipment from rival manufacturers for R&D purposes.

Norremark, who left Vestas in February, is taking his former employers to court.

46% - The percentage of wind planned in Europe from 2013-17 that Vestas predicts will be on low wind sites.

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