Major Chinese heavy equipment maker Hadian Group, the Jidong Cement Group and energy efficiency firm Huaxiao Resources Group have agreed to build a CNY 4 billion ($586.9 million) manufacturing base for wind power equipment in Caofeidian, near Tangshan in northern China, to assemble direct-drive turbines without gearboxes and semi direct-drive turbines with fewer stages in the gearbox than conventionally used in the wind industry (Windpower Monthly, November 2008). The partners will own the intellectual property rights to the 1.5 MW and 2 MW turbines. Annual sales are forecast at CNY 13 billion ($1.9 billion) on production of 1000 units a year. In the project's first stage, annual capacity of 500 units is targeted. Zhan Jun of Jidong Cement Group says the venture will apply the latest wind turbine know-how possessed by the Hadian Group in the areas of direct drive, variable speed, pitch regulation and permanent magnet generators. "In contrast, other Chinese wind turbine manufacturers directly import production technologies or jointly developed technologies," says Zhan.