Production line rationalisation

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Following its takeover of the bankrupt WindMaster Nederland in December, Lagerwey Windturbine BV, the Netherlands' sole remaining wind turbine producer, has announced its plans for the continuation of its former rival's production lines and project development. Of the three WindMaster models, Lagerwey will continue to produce and develop the WM 600/48 while phasing out both the 300 kW and 750 kW models.

The variable speed, 600 kW WindMaster unit, certified in 1997, is a sophisticated design which will strengthen Lagerwey's position in the all-important 600-900 kW market segment, the company believes. First year figures from eight WM 600/48 units in the Irish Drumlough Hill wind farm show the turbine to have an exceptional price performance ratio which Lagerwey's Johan Keurentjes claims can be significantly improved by simplifying the design. For the time being the model will be marketed under the WindMaster name, but should its capacity be scaled-up to around the 1 MW range, its name is likely to changed.

The strong market performance of Lagerwey's variable speed LW30/250 renders WindMaster's 300 kW unit surplus to requirements, the company believes. And the Lagerwey 750 kW turbine is being chosen over the older WindMaster 750/43, ten of which were recently installed in a wind farm in Carcassonne in the south of France. Lagerwey will undertake commissioning of the project.

Under the terms of the deal struck with the bankruptcy court receiver in December, Lagerwey has also taken over the activities of WindMaster's foreign divisions, WindMaster-Spain and WindMaster Development Ltd in London. As a result the company will be continuing discussions begun by WindMaster on a number of projects, including an offshore development in UK waters. WindMaster maintenance contracts will also be taken over by Lagerwey, if turbine owners request it.

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