China expansion on back of new orders -- Production to double

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Danish turbine manufacturer Vestas is to double production capacity at its blade factory in China. The news came days after the company confirmed three further Chinese orders for a total of 238 MW. The blade factory in Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area (TEDA) is due online this month, with the extension -- which will double annual production capacity from 600 to 1200 blades and see the workforce rise from 240 to 400 -- expected to be operational by mid 2007. The EUR 13 million extension includes a shared administrative building together with a factory for assembly of nacelles and hubs.

The first 39 metre blades for the V80-2.0 MW wind turbine are to be produced in May. The company's Jens Olsen says: "The manufacturing plant in TEDA Tianjin is mainly going to supply the Chinese market in order to comply with the 70% local content requirement [in wind plant equipment]." He adds that some export to other markets will take place.

The three new Chinese orders are for 280 V52 850 kW turbines to take the total Vestas has sold in the country to almost 1000 units. All three deals include supply and commissioning of the turbines as well as Vestas remote monitoring systems. Delivery will begin in spring with installation completed during the second half of the year.

The largest of the orders, 164 turbines, is for Datang Chifeng Saihanba Wind Power Generation Company, a subsidiary of China Datang Corporation. The machines will be installed at Datang's wind plant in Chifeng, in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. When completed this year, the 139.4 MW project will be China's largest wind plant so far, although bigger projects are on the way. The two other orders are for 58 units, each in 50 MW projects. Gansu Datang Yumen Wind Power Company, another China Datang Corporation subsidiary, has ordered the turbines for the Yumen Diwopu project. The third order is for two projects being developed by subsidiaries of Hong Kong Construction (Holdings). Both projects are in Muling in the Heilongjiang Province, one being developed by Asia Wind Power (Mudanjiang) Company, the other by Hong Kong Wind Power (Muling) Company.

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