Offshore wind projects earmarked for waters off China’s Hebei province are a new priority for turbine manufacturer Sinovel. The company will build an offshore turbine assembly facility in Hebei’s Leting county as part of a re-think on the location of its wind turbine production portfolio.
News of the plan for a Leting county facility followed a 29 July meeting of the company’s senior management team. The company’s leaders have decided to divert funds originally dedicated to new turbine manufacturing capacity in Dalian as well as to an offshore turbine transportation base in Tianjin. It will use the funds, instead, to build the Leting county plant as well as two inland factories that will produce onshore turbines for small-scale distributed power projects.
The Leting factory will receive $62.4m (395m yuan) in funding and will have a 360MW annual production capacity.
Some Chinese wind industry commentators have reacted to Sinovel’s announcement by noting that the company has already invested heavily in early stage construction of the Dalian and Tianjin projects, which it is now abandoning.
Sinovel’s decision to build the Leting offshore turbine factory has been driven by China’s twelfth five year economic plan, which covers the period 2011-2015. This prioritises offshore wind development in the eastern province of Jiangsu and the northern provinces of Shangdong and Hebei. China has a 2015 offshore wind capacity target of 5GW, but currently boasts just 300MW installed offshore capacity.
As previously reported by Windpower Offshore, 5.6GW of offshore wind capacity is planned for waters off Hebei, with Guodian Power Development having received regulatory approval to proceed with a 300MW project off Leting county. Guodian’s project will be based around 60 5MW turbines.
Sinovel has recently unveiled 5MW and 6MW turbine designs . Other Chinese turbine manufacturers with 5-6MW designs suitable for offshore projects include Guodian United Power, CSIC Haizhuang and XEMC.