Published on September 19th, 2011 | by Mridul Chadha1
Indian Wind Energy Giant Suzlon Targets Chinese Offshore Wind Market
September 19th, 2011 by Mridul Chadha
Indian wind energy giant Suzlon Energy is reportedly planning to expand its manufacturing capabilities in China. The company, the largest in India by installed capacity, will start manufacturing wind turbines in China and will export them to other countries. Up until now, turbine parts were manufactured in China and then exported to Suzlon’s facilities in other countries where they were assembled into the final product.
The decision to start manufacturing operations in China will help the company reduce costs, which is crucial, as its financial results in the recent few quarters have not been very encouraging. The company will start manufacturing 2-MW wind turbines in China.
Suzlon is also planning to venture into installation of offshore wind energy projects. While Suzlon itself does not manufacture offshore wind turbines, REpower — acquired by Suzlon — manufactures 6-MW turbines for the European markets.
Suzlon is planning to partner with state-owned oil and gas exploration companies to set up offshore wind energy projects in China. In China, offshore wind energy has only just started taking centre-stage. Land-based wind farms are located in the remote interior of China, where lack of grid creates power evacuation problems. Another issue with these wind farms is that they are located very far away from the major demand centres which are closer to the coastline — cities like Shanghai and Beijing.
The Chinese government is planning to set up several large-scale wind energy projects in the near future. Suzlon has the advantage that it has access to the tried-and-tested European technology which is unlikely to be matched by local Chinese manufacturers.
Experience in the Chinese market will help the company launch offshore wind power services in India, where the government is currently conducting studies to identify potential offshore wind energy sites.