Gamesa Areva JV named Adwen

SPAIN/FRANCE: The joint offshore venture between Gamesa and Areva has been named Adwen and will include two platforms for the offshore market.

Areva's M5000 turbine will be part of the Adwen joint venture
Areva's M5000 turbine will be part of the Adwen joint venture

Adwen will adopt Areva's M5000 5MW offshore turbine, now to be called AD 5-135 and Gamesa's G132-5MW turbine, now dubbed the AD 5-132.

The JV will also continue to develop Areva's propsed 8MW turbine, with serial production expected in 2018.

Manufacturing will take place at currently owned facilities in Germany. There are also plans to establish a manufacturing facility in Le Havre, France.

Ailes Marines, the Iberdrola-led consortium awarded the 500MW St-Brieuc project, has said it wants to use the new 8MW turbine. Areva is contracted to supply turbines to the Le Tréport and Noirmoutier projects off the French coast.

The new company will have 700 employees, based in Spain with offices in France, the UK and Germany.

It will be chaired by Areva renewable energies CEO Louis-Francois Durret. Adwen's eight-person board of directors will be made up from four representatives appointed by each company.

"The new Adwen has all capabilities in-house and is supported on demand by its shareholders," said Louis Francois Durret, chairman of the new company and also CEO of Areva Renewable Energies. This is despite the financial difficulties of 50% parent, major French nuclear company Areva.

Areva announed net losses of €4.8 billion for business year 2014 on 4 March 2015.

However, "we are born with no debt" and "in principle independent," commented Luis Alvarez, general manager of Adwent and chief operating officer of Gamesa's offshore activities.

Having two 5MW machines, one developed by Areva and one by Gamesa is seen as an advantage , said Alvarez on 10th March 2015 at the EWEA Offshore wind conference in Copenhagen.

"There is tremendous interest in the Chinese market for the AD 5-132 machine, developed by Gamesa," said Remi Conlon, head of Sales at Adwen.

"A long list of projects has been pre- approved by the Chinese government and we see a very promising market with support at around Eur100/Mwh," Conlon added. Thanks to its Chinese activities, "Gamesa is the only non-Chinese company to be viewed as Chinese."

As to future production sites, Alvarez said Adwent "is looking to be long term in Germany" at the existing factories in Bremerhaven and Stade "but we are working on different scenarios, and their delivery value". For the UK, he said "a footprint in the UK will be considered, we are in advanced discussions."

Plans for an industrial base in France have to be seen as part of a new industry being set up in the country, said Durret. After the first two tenders Adwen has won 1.5GW in orders, and this is the beginning "but not enough to maintain activities for decades. We need 3rd and 4th tenders to ensure continuing visibility and set up a new industry in France, he said.

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