GE Contemplating Adwen Takeover; Aims Top Position in OW Market

  • Business & Finance

GE, which took over Alstom’s power and grid businesses last year, has its eye on another company developing offshore wind technology – Adwen – a joint venture between Gamesa and Areva that arose as a stumbling block during Gamesa’s merger talks with Siemens. 

On Tuesday, Reuters quoted Jerome Pecresse, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy, as saying that his company wants to become one of the top three players in the offshore wind market and is eyeing Adwen takeover. For the time being, GE only expressed its interest in the offshore wind company and had not held any negotiations with Gamesa and Areva.

Initially, there were claims that Siemens was interested in acquiring Areva’s 50% stake in Adwen. However, subsequent news have shown that Siemens buying out Adwen would be unlikely due to competitive reasons and, what is more, the German conglomerate has no interest in the takeover, especially in acquiring other offshore wind technology as it is very well positioned within the market.

Should GE decide to take over Adwen, it could be good news for the offshore wind sector, as having three major offshore wind technology companies would help reduce costs by creating a more competitive market environment, according to Reuters.

Adwen’s offshore wind technology 

Gamesa and Areva formed the joint venture in March 2015, with both companies investing around EUR 200 million, offering two 5MW turbine types (AD 5-135 and AD 5-132 ) and a 8MW (AD 8-180) turbine to the market.

The company was the second largest wind turbine manufacturer in Europe in 2015, with a market share of 18.2% of grid connected capacity, according to the statistics published by EWEA (now WindEurope).

Like GE’s Haliade, Adwen’s 8MW turbine has also already been selected for 1.5GW of projects planned to be developed off French coasts.

In an interview from January 2016, Adwen told Offshore WIND that its 8MW turbine was already competitive and has the largest Annual Energy Production (AEP) in the industry, thus helping lower the Cost of Energy.

Serial production of the AD 8-180 is expected to start in 2018.

GE’s offshore wind portfolio

By acquiring two Alstom’s units, GE added an advanced offshore wind technology to its portfolio – the Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbine, which had already secured orders for the Block Island project in the United States and three French projects representing a total of 1.5 GW.

The first Haliade wind turbine produced by GE has recently left the company’s offshore wind factory in Saint-Nazaire to be installed at the Osterild site in Denmark, operated by EDF EN. In February, GE manufactured the first serial Permanent Magnet Generator (PMG) for the Haliade turbine in Denmark.

In March, GE started assembling towers for the Haliade wind turbines that will be installed at the 30MW Block Island Wind Farm in the US.

Late last month, French prefecture Loire-Atlantique approved the construction of the 480MW Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm that will feature 80 Haliade turbines.

In addition, Eolfi Offshore France submitted a proposal to the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) in April, seeking consent to build a floating wind farm off the island of Groix. The project, planned to be commissioned in 2019, would consist of up to six Haliade offshore wind turbines.

Largest European wind turbine manufacturers

Siemens was undoubtedly the biggest European offshore wind turbine supplier, WindEurope’s statistics have shown.

With 1,816.4 MW of new capacity connected, Siemens accounted for 60% of the 2015 market.

Adwen (550 MW, 18.2%), MHI Vestas (391.5 MW, 12.9%) and Senvion (270.6 MW, 8.9%) are the other turbine manufacturers who had turbines grid-connected in full-scale wind farms during 2015.

In terms of net grid-connected units, Siemens remained at the top with 476 turbines of various individual turbine capacities (3-6 MW, accounting for 62.7% of connected capacity) connected in European waters during 2015. MHI Vestas connected a net total of 129 turbines (ranging from 3-3.3 MW) representing 17%2.

Adwen connected 110 turbines to the grid, each rated at 5 MW, representing 14.5% of all turbines connected. Senvion also connected 44 turbines, with an individual turbine rating of 6.15 MW, making up 5.8% of grid-connected turbines in 2015.

European cumulative installed capacity at the end of 2015 reached 11,027.3 MW, across a total of 3,230 wind turbines. Siemens is the leading offshore wind turbine supplier in Europe with 63.5% of total installed capacity. MHI Vestas (18.5%) is the second biggest turbine supplier, followed by Senvion (7.4%), Adwen (5.7%), and BARD (3.6%).

Offshore WIND Staff

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