Merger of German manufacturers

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Small wind turbine manufacturer Fuhrländer has set up a joint venture with fellow south Germany company Pfleiderer to take over all of Pfleiderer's onshore wind energy activities. The company, named Fuhrländer-Pfleiderer, is majority-owned and managed by Fuhrländer and assumes all customer relations, patents, licences and rights to Pfleiderer turbines. The deal includes an option for Fuhrländer to take over the remaining share held by Pfleiderer, a company of diversified manufacturing interests, within the next three years.

The purchase price has not been revealed, but Fuhrländer seems unlikely to have paid a large sum. It has shouldered service and maintenance of all the operating Pfleiderer 600 kW wind turbines, albeit there are less than 20 involved. Fuhrländer has also begun work to bring the Pfleiderer machines into line with its own technology standards, including the replacement of all gearboxes.

The Pfleiderer 600 kW and 1.5 MW technologies dovetail with Fuhrländer's six-turbine portfolio, which comprises machines rated at 30 kW, 100 kW, 250 kW, 800 kW, 1 MW, 1.5 MW, and its new 2.3-2.7 MW range. The 1.5 MW MD 70 is built under licence from Repower Systems.

The 600 kW fills the gap below 800 kW machines and is a size often in demand in the US, comments Fuhrländer's Walter Lutz. The Pfleiderer 1.5 MW technology, of which two machines are installed, gives Fuhrländer new freedom with projects abroad. Until now, it was excluded by the licence deal with Repower Systems from selling the MD70 1.5 MW in France and other countries. Fuhrländer's development portfolio includes projects completed in Japan, the US (one 250 kW wind turbine installed near Lake Ontario late last year), Italy and Portugal.

Pfleiderer's 600 kW and 1.5 MW turbine technology was acquired from a small Austrian wind turbine design company, Windtec Anlagenerrichtung und Consulting, back in 2000. Late last year Pfleiderer sold its turbine technology company, Multibrid Entwicklungsgesellschaft, which included development of the 5 MW Multibrid offshore machine, to wind developer Prokon Nord Energiesysteme (Windpower Monthly, January 2004).

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