Siemens-Gamesa Merger to Obtain EU Approval by Mid-March

Illustration (Image source: flazingo.com)

The European Commission will decide on the Siemens-Gamesa merger by 13 March. The deal involves Gamesa absorbing Siemens’s wind power assets in exchange for newly-issued shares in Gamesa, with Siemens owning 59% of the new company and Iberdrola retaining an 8% interest. 

The decision is set to be made in favour of the merger, as the EU Commission found the deal would not negatively impact competition, according to unnamed sources cited by Reuters.

In February, the US Department of Justice gave the green light to the merger, thus making the European Commission’s decision the last approval to be obtained from the anti-trust authorities.

Siemens and Gamesa expect significant synergy potentials in a combined setup. The merger is set to create the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, as the enlarged firm will have an installed worldwide capacity of close to 70GW, an orderbook valued at EUR 21 billion, revenue of around EUR 10 billion, adjusted EBIT of EUR 915 million, and roughly 22,000 employees globally, according to Gamesa’s Executive Chairman Ignacio Martín.

“The upcoming merger of Siemens Wind and Gamesa will allow the joined company to catch up and create a ‘big four’ group of dominant manufacturers. Staying at the front of this pack will require both significant size and a balanced presence in the right markets,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said as it recently reported an annual ranking of wind turbine makers.

In BNEF’s figures for 2016, Gamesa is ranked as the fourth onshore wind turbine manufacturer with 3.7GW commissioned, with Vestas, GE and Goldwind listed as top three. Siemens came in eighth.

However, Siemens is leading in installed offshore wind turbines, even though BNEF’s table shows the company ranked as second. Namely, aside from the two projects in the Netherlands and Taiwan featuring Siemens offshore wind turbines, 388MW of the company’s turbines installed in 2016 were the ones built under license in China by Sewind, with the Chinese company installing 100.8MW of its own-brand turbines.

At the end of 2015, Siemens was the leading offshore wind turbine manufacturer in Europe, accounting for 63% of total installed capacity.

With Siemens being the leading manufacturer of offshore wind turbines, and the merger with Gamesa said to primarily strengthen its onshore wind foothold, it remains unclear how the deal will impact Adwen, now fully-owned by Gamesa, which agreed to buy Areva’s share in the turbine maker for EUR 60 million in September 2016 as part of the merger agreement between Gamesa and Siemens.

Namely, both Adwen and Siemens have 8MW offshore wind turbines in their offering. In an interview from January 2016, Adwen told Offshore WIND that its 8MW turbine with a 180-meter rotor is already competitive and has the largest Annual Energy Production (AEP) in the industry.

Meanwhile, in January of this year, Siemens installed its SWT-8.0-154 prototype at the national test centre in Østerild, Denmark, as part of type certification process.

Adwen’s 8MW turbine has already been selected for 1.5GW of projects planned for France, for which Areva and Gamesa received commitments from the French government that the wind turbines will be used for the projects under condition that the turbines are built in France. “Commitments made as part of the tender process for offshore wind farms in France will remain borne by Adwen,” Areva said in a statement on the finalisation of the Adwen stake sale to Gamesa.

In early 2016, reports on Siemens buying out Areva’s stake in Adwen emerged, saying that Siemens is reluctant to fulfil some of the obligations towards Adwen, including building two manufacturing plants for Adwen’s 8MW turbines in France, on which the French government reportedly counted on during its offshore wind tenders.

Adwen – which also has two 5MW class offshore wind turbines in its portfolio – was the second largest wind turbine manufacturer in Europe in 2015 in terms of net annual installations with a market share of 18.2%, according to the statistics published by EWEA (now WindEurope).

When it comes to 8MW offshore wind turbine class, the two manufacturers have a fierce competitor in MHI Vestas, whose giants have been already installed at the Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm last year. In January, the company received largest ever order for the 8MW turbine for DONG Energy’s 450MW Borkum Riffgrund 2 project in Germany.

Also, MHI Vestas has recently announced the uprated 8MW wind turbine which enables the platform to reach 9MW at specific site conditions.

Offshore WIND Staff

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