Wind energy gear makers power up India plans

R. Balaji N. Ramakrishnan Chennai | Updated on April 12, 2011 Published on April 07, 2011

Growing opportunity.


With the epicentre of the wind energy industry, in the words of Mr Tulsi Tanti, Chairman and Managing Director, Suzlon Energy Ltd, moving towards the Asia-Pacific and India and China offering the biggest opportunities for growth, turbine manufacturers are charting out expansion plans for India.

A cross-section of turbine manufacturers at Wind Power India 2011, a three-day event on the industry that began here today, outlined plans to either set up new facilities or bring in wind turbines of larger capacity, to tap the growing market. The turbines will be suited to low wind sites in the country.

The industry estimates that the capacity addition from wind would be 5,000 MW a year in the next few years. In 2010-11, a little over 2,300 MW of wind energy capacity came up, an all-time high for the country.

Siemens, the German engineering company, plans to set up a plant near Vadodara in Gujarat to manufacture wind turbines. The plant is expected to start producing by 2013 and it will make 2.3 MW turbines, according to Mr Bernhard Telgman, CEO – APAC, Siemens. “We will launch a product that fits the market — a low to medium wind speed machine,” he said.

At the event, Suzlon launched a new platform of wind turbines of 2.1 MW capacity with rotor diameter of 95 m and 97 m meant to tap moderate to low wind speeds. The turbines will have towers that are 90 m and 100 m high and will have a larger swept area, enabling greater energy capture, according to Mr Tanti.

Kenersys, a Kalyani group company, which recently inaugurated its wind turbine assembly plant in Baramati, Maharashtra, hopes to sell 150 MW of turbines in 2011. The company sells turbines of 2 MW capacity and will offer 2.5-MW turbines next year. The company has MoUs for 1,000 MW to be installed in the next three years, according to Mr Paulo Fernando Soares, CEO, Kenersys Group, which has a plant in Germany. The company hopes to start selling turbines in the US and Brazil, and, depending on the volume of business, will decide on setting up an assembly plant in these two countries.

Gamesa Wind Turbines Pvt Ltd, the Indian subsidiary of Gamesa of Spain, has announced plans to set up facilities to make towers, nacelles and blades. It has an assembling unit near Chennai where it makes 850 kW turbines. The company plans to launch 2 MW turbines later this year.

LM Wind Power, a leading global manufacturer of blades for wind turbines, plans to expand its facility near Bangalore. The Indian unit — LM Wind Power Blades (India) Pvt Ltd — now has a capacity to make blades for 750 MW and plans to increase capacity by 500 MW at the Dabaspet plant. It also plans to set up a unit with a capacity of 600-700 MW in either Gujarat or Rajasthan, according to Mr Ian Telford, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, LM Wind Power.

Published on April 07, 2011
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