Operations at Nordex's new rotor blade factory in East China's Dongying officially started in January, with the facility now equipping 1.5 MW wind turbines coming off the production line at the German company's factory in Ningxia, West China, which opened in November. In the first year of operation, the Dongying factory will produce 225 rotor blades for 75 turbines. Output is eventually to be increased to around 800 blades a year, sufficient for 400 MW of capacity. The expected total cost of the blade facility stands at EUR 20 million. Nordex will initially use the rotor blades from Dongying to cover demand in the Far East. Looking ahead, the company says it expects further production bases to be established in China to satisfy strong local demand. "China will evolve into one of the largest markets for wind turbines over the next few years," notes the company's Thomas Richterich. By the end of 2007, Nordex plans to have about 350 employees in China, including some 200 in Dongying.