Adwen Takes First Step on French Factories. Building Them Depends on Other Factors

Adwen has filed applications for construction permits for two wind turbine manufacturing factories in Le Havre, France, the company confirmed to Offshore WIND following reports in French media.

Adwen's 8MW platform (Image: Adwen)

The company’s officials attending Seanergy 2017 in France told Offshore WIND that Adwen is committed to meeting its obligations related to French offshore wind projects. However, filing for construction permits is just the first step and there is a long way to go, with the timetable still unknown, as building the factories depends on other factors.

The applications, one for a factory that would produce nacelles and another for a blade factory, were submitted on 21 March. Still, this does not necessarily mean the factories will be built, according to French news site Ouest-France, which quoted Adwen CEO Luis Alvarez as saying that they will be able to officially talk with Siemens within two weeks and that the company’s industrial plan could be then put in place.

To remind, Adwen was set up by Areva and Gamesa as a joint venture dedicated to manufacturing offshore wind turbines, and has been taken over by Gamesa as part of a deal in its merger process with Siemens.

Areva’s offshore wind turbines (now Adwen) have been chosen for three French projects: Bay of Saint-Brieuc, awarded to Iberdrola-led Ailes Marines consortium at the country’s first offshore wind call for tenders in 2012, and Dieppe Le Tréport and Yeu-Noirmoutier offshore wind farms, awarded to LEM consortium, led by Engie, in 2014. The projects total almost 1.5GW in capacity and the developers decided to use Adwen’s 8MW offshore wind turbine.

One of the obligations as part of the tender awards is building the wind turbine manufacturing plants and thus boosting regional as well as the national economy. “Commitments made as part of the tender process for offshore wind farms in France will remain borne by Adwen,” Areva said in a statement upon transferring its Adwen stake to Gamesa.

Judging by our conversation with Adwen’s officials, the company is keen on meeting those commitments.

Nevertheless, the Siemens-Gamesa merger – approved by the European Commission on 13 March – still leaves a question mark over Adwen’s path from that point on.

The issue of Gamesa’s merger with Siemens, which is on the way to having an 8MW turbine in its offering too, has also been voiced by Nass&Wind’s CEO Peter Nass in relation to the industrial plan and the timetable taken into account by the French government at the time of the Saint-Brieuc site award.

It is yet to be seen how Adwen will do business with regard to the new Siemens-Gamesa company, since the closing of the merger is scheduled to take place in early April and more information is expected to be made known from that point forward.

Offshore WIND Staff