Areva signs tower supply deals in France

FRANCE: French manufacturing companies Entrepose Projets and Fouré Lagadec have signed an agreement with Areva to build towers for the French and UK markets.

In a statement, Areva said the two companies would each build a separate half of the tower. Both Entrepose Projets and Fouré Lagadec are based in northern France.

The towers would be used on Areva's M5000 5MW turbine, which is set for the 500MW Saint-Brieuc offshore concession in northern France.

Areva is also part of a GDF-led consortium bidding for the second 1GW tender of French projects.

Last year, Areva CEO Luc Oursel unveiled plans to manufacture the company's M5000 5MW turbine in the Haute-Normandie region of France.

Oursel said the turbines used on the project would be entirely made in France. This includes the gearboxes, which will made made by Moventas.

Areva also said the deal would be used to supply UK projects in the "south of England".

Although the company has yet to win a UK offshore supply deal, the decision to manufacture towers in France could become problematic in terms of winning orders in the world's biggest offshore market.

The UK does not have any local sourcing requirements, but the government made it clear in its recent roadmap that it expected a certain proportion of the turbines' components to be supplied locally.

Areva may seek to alleviate this through building an assembly plant. There are also industry rumours Moventus will supply UK M5000 gearboxes locally after it assimilated UK firm David Brown gear systems wind division.