Le Havre factories set for 2020 build

FRANCE: Siemens Gamesa Rewnewable Energy (SGRE) and the port of Le Havre have signed a framework agreement to prepare for the two factories the OEM plans to build, one producing nacelles and the other blades for its direct-drive 8MW turbines.

SGRE will build a blade and nacelle factory like this one in Cuxhaven, Germany

"After several months of uncertainty, this agreement marks an effective resumption of the development of our industrial project. The aim is to create a truly European industrial platform from Le Havre that is competitive, innovative and flexible," said Filippo Cimitan, managing director of SGRE France.

Site preparation work will start soon and construction of the factories should start by mid-2020 if all goes to schedule, SGRE said. The company plans to submit a building application in early 2019.

The factory plans have had a chequered history.

French firm Areva originally agreed to build them when awarded the St-Brieuc project as part of France's offshore tender in 2012, followed by the Dieppe-Le Tréport and Yeu-Noirmoutier projects, awarded in 2014.

The factories then passed on to Adwen — the turbine manufacturing joint venture between Areva and Gamesa — before SGRE took on Adwen in 2017.

Since then, further doubts arose when the French government forced developers to renegotiate the tariffs earlier this year.