Global Tech I, for which the group will supply 80 M wind turbines, is the only offshore wind project to have raised debt financing in excess. AREVA Wind proudly unveiled the latest product extension of its M product platform: the M Specification of Offshore Wind Turbine M, Areva Wind, Information includes Operating Data, Rotor, Power Regulation, Electrical Data, Gearbix, Blades.
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The issue came to light in Areva’s half year report, released 24 Julyof a supplier’s warning regarding “the possibility of defects in components used in the manufacture of wind turbines.
Areva said the components were being inspected and any of them found to be defective would be replaced. The company expected that the supplier involved will bear the costs, penalties and contractual sreva associated with these measures.
But the Areva group’s liability insurance “may also be brought to bear”, implying it too will have to shoulder additional costs. Jean Huby became chief executive officer at Areva Wind and executive vice president of the wind unit at Areva Renewables in Hamburg, Germany, in May His arrival came in the aftermath of another quality control failure in in connection with two gearboxes out of six Areva machines at the Alpha Ventus test offshore station in Germany.
Areva said this was down to m50000 overheating related to the use of sub-standard materials in one of the nacelle sliding bearings. All six nacelles were replaced as a preventive measure.
Coincidentally, Huby seems to have been replaced by a specialist in quality control. The wind division is now headed by Arnaud Bellanger, previously a vice president for purchasing in the nuclear division of the French majority state-owned company.
Quality control in the nuclear sector is of huge importance, and this is likely to be applied to Areva’s wind turbine assembly. Ironically, German offshore wind areav developer Windreich had eulogised over quality at Areva Wind.
Careful quality control and Areva’s worldwide unique 10, PS teststand bring further quality security,” Windreich said. This came just two days after Areva’s document containing the component warning had been released.
Less than a month later, on 22 AugustHuby signed a cooperation agreement for the supply of 5MW Areva Wind M turbines for the Baltic Eagle and Ostseeschatz projects in the Baltic Sea with Willi Balz, the founder of Windreich, which owns of the projects.
But just two weeks after that, on 5 SeptemberWindreich filed for insolvency. This could delay or even jeopardise Areva Wind’s supply of turbines to Windreich’s 80 turbine MEG 1 offshore station project, which had hoped to reach financial close in June On 30 Septembera letter to Windreich bondholders said constructive talks were under way with key suppliers, potential investors and the banks involved.
Also adding to Areva’s uncertainties, if Balz sells Baltic Eagle and Ostseeschatz, the cooperation agreement with Balz could be torn up by the new owner. Meantime, Germany’s offshore sector is floundering in the doldrums which does not bode well for Areva Wind’s Bremerhaven assembly works.
After two years without new offshore investment decisions, first due to offshore transmission cable delays, followed by federal government policy announcements in spring heralding but not clarifying feed-in tariffs changes, offshore turbine manufacturers urgently need new business to keep their works open.
With the slowdown in German offshore wind and Areva’s announcements in November on planned new assembly works in France and Scotland to deliver to offshore projects in France, the UK or Belgium, the future of the Bremerhaven assembly works could start to look precarious if no new contracts are awarded soon.
Despite Windreich’s assertion arevw the Areva’s Bremerhaven turbine assembly using “almost exclusively German components”, the company could plan to shift the bulk of its manufacturing to France. For the time being, the Bremerhaven works is busy with supplying 80 turbines to the Global Tech 1 project and 40 to the Trianel wind farm Borkum also known as Borkum West 2 phase oneboth now in the installation phase.
When Windpower Monthly questioned Trianel on whether there is a problem with component defects, the developer said to ask Areva. Areva said 16 October that “it is not the aerva blade but a component inside the rotor blade” that is at issue and that “the problem has been resolved.
Areva Blades production facility is in Stade, near Hamburg, where the Areva nuclear division is dismantling a nuclear power station. The blades factory was acquired in from Prokon Nord Energiesysteme, from which Areva also acquired the “Multibrid” offshore wind turbine technology in Areva Blades is the exclusive manufacturer of blades for Areva’s 5MW offshore turbine.
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