Bard and XEMC in acquisition talks

Chinese turbine maker considers German offshore specialist

XEMC appears to be considering purchasing all or part of beleaguered German offshore wind firm, Bard Group.

Responding to Windpower Offshore enquiries, Bard refused to comment, citing "investor procedures" for its reticence.

For some time, Bard has been looking for additional financial investment and, recently, a buyer for at least part of its business. The company developed financial difficulties as it moved toward the construction phase of its offshore wind programme.

Installation of the 400MW Bard Offshore 1 project has been subject to multiple delays, although the wind farm is now partially commissioned. Bard’s Veja Mate project is stalled.

Previous talks with potential investors, including Spanish turbine manufacturer Gamesa and South Korean industrial group Daewoo have failed, suggesting that Bard may be eager to agree a deal with XEMC.

Like many Chinese wind turbine manufacturers, XEMC is keen to establish a European offshore wind market presence. Buying Bard – or part of its operations – may assist in this, providing XEMC with a German offshore wind development vehicle.

Last week, XEMC announced it will substantially increase investment in its Dutch turbine design subsidiary, XEMC Darwind. XEMC purchased Darwind in 2009, with a focus on developing Darwind’s direct drive technology.

Prototype tests of a 5MW XEMC Darwind machine are underway in China and the Netherlands, and in February XEMC Darwind won its first order, from Windkraft FIT. It will supply 10 5MW direct drive turbines for the 345MW Albatros 1 project.

Follow us on Twitter: @WPOffshore