Alstom and Areva compete with their offshore wind

Auto Date Monday, March 26th, 2012


Home stretch for the tender in giant offshore wind, an investment of 10 billion euros. While the verdict is promised before the presidential election, companies occupy the land. On Monday, Mestrallet, Oursel Luc and Xavier Huillard, respectively boss of GDF Suez, Areva and Vinci, traveling around the Upper Normandy (Fécamp, Dieppe, Le Havre) to present their business plan. Last Monday, the Industry Minister, Eric Besson, has unveiled the prototype of the new offshore wind Alstom, the site of book in Loire-Atlantique.

The tender is dominated by the clash between Alstom and Areva, among wind turbine manufacturers. They are actually competing in four of the five fields. Each claims its strengths: innovation for Alstom against the experience for Areva.

"This wind turbine is technologically innovative and ambitious for France," said Patrick Kron, Alstom's chief executive. The blades of 73.5 meters is the longest in the world. The group opted for a permanent magnet alternator, no gearbox, which should reduce operating costs. In the end, his power of 6 megawatts (MW) against 5 MW Areva makes it the most wind power marine world.

For his part, Luc Oursel, the boss of Areva, said his group has eight years ahead, with more installed wind turbines in the North Sea credit reports free. By 2015, the group expects 120 of its machines to produce electricity. "All of our wind turbines, before being implemented, are tested at full power on a test bench unique," says Luc Oursel. Like the integrated model of the nuclear group, its wind business is careful to keep control of several strategic industries such as manufacturing of the blades. "Our watchword is reliability," says Luc Oursel.

Regional investments

The blades of the first prototype of Alstom, down, do begin to spin that in a month. A second prototype crashed at sea, will be operational before the end of the year. The inauguration of the wind Alstom was made before many elected Pays de la Loire and Brittany. The group, which is involved in the consortium led by EDF Energies new, has indeed committed to make several investments in the region, allowing it to benefit from their active support in competition with Areva.

Alstom also claims the construction and installation of 2,300 onshore turbines. However, his lack of experience in offshore wind may explain the appearance in recent weeks by rumors of a possible acquisition of German RE Power or Danish Vestas wind turbine specialists, Patrick Kron has qualified to of this "speculation".

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