Manufacturing capacity doubled

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Enercon of Germany is in the process of doubling its manufacturing capacity. In late January, the company bought a 50% share in a division of a former engineering works in eastern Germany, Sket Maschinen und Anlagenbau. The works, formerly part of the Ernst Thælmann combine in Magdeburg, had been awaiting privatisation since German re-unification.

Last month Enercon was converting its newly acquired facilities for the manufacture of rotor blades as well as for the production and assembly of generators. Company owner Aloys Wobben describes the move as a "cell division," doubling the size of his company.

The space available to Enercon in Magdeburg is about the same as that at the company headquarters in Aurich. Production capacity will eventually match the Aurich output of about ten 500 kW E40 turbines and one to two 1.5 MW E66 machines a week, together with one to four 200 kW E30 turbines a month, says Enercon's Martina Kuhlmann. Initially the E66 turbine will be built at Magdeburg, work which began last month.

The remaining 50% share of Sket was bought by Heinz Buse, owner of a medium-sized company based in Leer. Enercon is one of Buse's long time customers for steel components. Buse will take over the traditional mechanical engineering activities at Sket.

The extra manufacturing capacity was needed due to the steady growth in exports, Enercon says. "We are supplied with towers by another Magdeburg company, SAM, and this is how we got to hear about plans to privatise Sket," says Kuhlmann. "The wide experience of Sket in heavy engineering and its existing production capacity offer the ideal conditions for the construction of large wind turbines.

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