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Netherlands

Netherlands

Dutch technology to Egypt

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Thirty 25 kW wind turbines made by small Dutch company H-Energiesystemen are to be installed along the Mediterranean coast of Egypt to supply electricity to five villages now reliant on diesel generators. The order for the turbines came from the New and Renewable Energy Agency of the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity. The project is part funded by the United States aid organisation, USAID, and has been granted an export subsidy by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. H-Energiesystemen, of Swifterbant in Flevoland, won the order in a competitive tender.

The founder and director of the company, Frans van Hulle, says H-Energiesystemen started 14 years ago producing small wind turbines with rated capacities between 50 W and 150 kW. The company's range of wind turbines are classified according to their rotor diameter, but Van Hulle says there are no standard machines. "Each and every turbine has specifications according to local circumstances," he explains. Data for the Egyptian project was supplied by USAID.

H-Energiesystemen employs ten people at its Swifterbant facilities and has about 30 people working abroad. The turbines are produced in Swifterbant, tested and then dismantled for transportation to their final destination. All parts are made by the company. "We are not an assembly line, like so many others," says Van Hulle.

By the end of August, H-Energiesystemen will have a new production facility where it will also train field operators. Training is an expanding side of the business and a hostel will be built in Swifterbant to house trainees. The first to use the facilities will be the prospective Egyptian field operators.

H-Energiesystemen says it has produced a couple of hundred small wind turbines, most of which have been installed in developing countries, although some are also operate in the Netherlands. The simple machines can be erected without the use of a crane and rely on passive control, not electronic wizardry. Simple and sturdy is the philosophy of the company. As H-Energiesystemen is one of the few remaining wind turbine manufacturers left in the Netherlands, its seems to be a successful way of doing business.

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