Areva Wind's German O&M base takes shape

Emden facility under construction, as testing looms for M5000-135

Construction of Areva Wind’s German operations and maintenance (O&M) base has begun. Capable of hosting up to eight offshore turbine O&M teams and up to 24 service vessels, the Emden facility is scheduled for completion in August.

The port of Emden has an expansion plan, designed to allow its development as an offshore wind installation base.

Germany is Areva Wind’s primary market. It is supplying 120 of its 5MW M5000-116 turbines for two projects currently being built. Forty are destined for Borkum West 2 phase 1, 80 for Global Tech 1. The first Areva turbines to be installed offshore are also in German waters; six M5000-116 units form half of Alpha Ventus’ turbine fleet. The company’s manufacturing facility is at Bremerhaven.

Last year, Areva Wind was chosen to supply 80 turbines to Iberdrola’s 400MW Wikinger project. It is likely to be the first wind farm powered by Areva’s revised turbine design, which will feature a 135m rotor diameter.

An onshore test of Areva’s larger M5000-135 design due to begin later this year, in Bremerhaven. Installation of the prototype is underway, with commissioning due in Q3.

Two further German offshore projects are set to be powered by Areva machines, but their construction schedules remain unclear. These are Deutsche Bucht (42 units) and Meg 1 (80 units). The latter is owned by troubled developer, Windreich, which is currently under investigation by German authorities regarding alleged financial mismanagement. Until last year, Deutsche Bucht was also owned by Windreich, but it was sold to Highland Group Holdings, an investment firm owned by Scottish investor, Irvine Laidlaw.

Last week, Areva reported a 23.3% increase in Q1 revenues for its renewables business. It cited turbine sales for Global Tech 1 as one of several factors underpinning the increase. Areva’s renewables division is also active in biomass and solar, and accounted for 4.6% of group Q1 revenue.

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