Construction work on a CNY 500 million ($65.3 million) wind turbine blade and assembly plant -- a joint venture between Dongfang Electric and Tianjin Machinery & Electric Industry -- kicked off in April in eastern China's coastal city Tianjin, rapidly becoming a global wind industry hub since Vestas set up shop there. The two partners have established Tianjin Dongfang Wind Blade Engineering Company (TDWBEC) to oversee building and eventual operation of the plant. By September, TDWBEC hopes to produce 600 sets of blades a year for 1.5 MW wind turbines, while a second stage of development will enable 100 sets for 2.5 MW units and 50 sets for 5 MW machines. State owned Dongfang, a relative latecomer to the wind game, develops and manufacture a variety of components for power generation. Under a technology transfer licence agreement with Germany's Repower, it is also developing wind turbines for the domestic market. "We have the experience and expertise in developing similar products. Our stock of material and human resources will help us achieve our goal," says a senior manager of the company. To date, Dongfang has delivered about 40 of its 1.5 MW wind turbine prototypes for test running at wind farms in Shandong and Inner Mongolia.
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