NEG Micon is also expanding its share capital, as planned, to DKK 230 million, which the company hopes will help it to re-establish itself and increase its net worth after it announced the loss of its entire capital in late September (Windpower Monthly, October 1999). Last month, as an aftershock to the crisis, the company fired 240 of its workers in Denmark-about 15% of its total workforce in the country.
Gear box retrofits
Meanwhile, in co-operation with gear box maker Flender, the company is preparing a two year retrofit and control program for the gear boxes on 1250 NEG Micon turbines (Windpower Monthly, November 1999). The first step will be the testing of a prototype of the strengthened and rebuilt gears, says NEG Micon's new quality manager, Poul Anker Lübker. The prototype was planned to be installed on a 600 kW turbine late last month. From January, Flender and NEG Micon have planned to renovate and install 15 gear boxes a week.
In order to try to catch signs of gear box wear in time, NEG Micon will begin to take oil samples of all turbines every third month or, if warning signs appear, monthly. If a damaged gear box is found before it is retrofitted, the company will replace it with a temporary gear box from its stockpiles until a retrofitted gea box is ready from Flender. NEG Micon has stockpiled about 200 gears it can use in emergency situations, Lübker says, but without the retrofit improvements.
"In co-operation with gear experts, we will also establish a test stand, which will make it possible to test gears and simulate up to 20 years of operation-which is the time we say a new gear should be able to last," says Lübker. Lübker will continue as a director of the company in order to secure effective communication and leadership of the retrofit program.
In other developments, major NEG Micon shareholder Arbejdsmarkedets Tillægspension (ATP), a pension fund, has threatened to sue NEG Micon's earlier board of directors for giving misleading information to the stock exchange. In August, NEG Micon predicted total profits for the year to be about DKK 75-100 million before tax. ATP, along with another pension foundation, Lønmodtagernes Dyrtidsfond, bought more NEG Micon shares as a result. Both shareholders lost millions of Danish crowns 40 days later when NEG Micon announced the loss of its entire capital. The stock exchange supports ATP's criticism of the misleading half-year results.