GE (NYSE:GE) announced a joint venture with Harbin Electric Machinery Co., Ltd. (HEC), a subsidiary of Harbin Power Equipment Co., Ltd. (HPEC), to manufacture and supply wind turbines to its customers in China. The deal enhances GE’s ability to compete in China’s $13 billion wind industry segment.
China, already the world’s largest wind turbine sales territory, is projected to grow an additional 500 percent as the country’s installed wind capacity increases from the 2009 level of 25 gigawatts to 150 gigawatts by 2020. Overall, China’s electricity demands are growing at a rate of 12 percent per year and the government’s supportive renewable energy policies played an important role in GE’s decision to invest in the joint venture.
“This is an important investment in China for GE and one that will enable us to participate in the tremendous growth potential of the Chinese wind turbine segment,” said Jack Wen, president and CEO of GE Energy China. “By teaming up with Harbin, GE can deliver our advanced wind power solutions to our local customers in China to help meet the country’s need for cleaner energy.”
The new company will manufacture GE-designed wind turbines for near-shore* and offshore applications in China. Under the new joint venture, HEC will own 51 percent and GE 49 percent of the company. As part of the overall wind partnership, HEC is purchasing a 49 percent interest in the existing GE Shenyang Wind factory, which will continue to manufacture land-based wind turbines.
“We’re proud of our long-standing relationship with GE,” said Mr. Gong Jing Kun, chairman of Harbin Electric Corporation. “Since 2004, Harbin Power Equipment Co., Ltd. has partnered with GE to provide 9FA heavy duty gas turbines and related services in China. This new joint venture will combine our capabilities as a supplier of power generation technologies with GE’s capabilities as a premier wind turbine generator technology provider to allow us to deliver superior wind technologies to customers. ”
GE will work with the new joint venture to develop wind turbines for offshore projects in China using direct drive technology. The joint venture will also provide customer and sales support, as well as commissioning and maintenance service to help customers maintain their fleet.
With 14,000 wind turbines installed worldwide comprising more than 21 gigawatts of capacity, GE’s current wind product portfolio includes onshore and offshore wind turbines with rated capacities ranging from 1.5 to 4.0 megawatts. The workhorse of the GE fleet, the 1.5-megawatt wind turbine, is the most widely deployed megawatt-class wind turbine in the world. GE has been active in China’s energy sector for nearly a century and has supplied the country with a wide range of products including more than 270 gas turbines, 70 steam turbines, more than 300 hydro turbines and 935 wind turbines.
* Near-shore wind turbines are classified as wind turbines installed on land within three kilometers of the nearest shoreline, or lying on the water within 10 kilometers of the shore.