Trouble between Nordex and RePower Systems

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Trouble is brewing in the partnership between German wind companies Nordex and RePower systems over development of a 5 MW turbine design. "Joint development of a 5 MW machine -- and then selling licences for its manufacture elsewhere -- is not a basis for co-operation with Nordex, absolutely not," says Nordex's Ralf Peters, in a reference to RePower activities. Nordex is "thinking about the situation," adds Peters, but until further notice the plan remains to have a joint prototype up by 2003 with series production to follow in 2005. The engineering working group on the project has not been disbanded. RePower Systems, a wind turbine manufacturer based in Hamburg, has previously granted production licences for a 1.5 MW wind turbine it has developed to Fuhrländer in Waingandshain, to Südwind (part of Nordex), and most recently to Gamesa after the Spanish company's split with Vestas. Under the terms of the licence agreement, however, Gamesa and Nordex may not sell the 1.5 MW in France and Japan aside from "specially commissioned projects" in the case of Nordex, says Peters. Nordex, he admits, has previously sold a licence for production of its 600 kW unit to its Chinese joint venture. "But this is a machine we no longer build because there is no demand for it in our main markets," says Peters.

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