Areva, Gamesa seal offshore JV

Areva and Gamesa have signed final agreements to form a joint venture in offshore wind, saying they hope to grab a 20% share of the European market by 2020.

The agreement seals the 50/50 JV plan first announced in January by the turbine-makers.

Gamesa’s contribution to the JV is valued at €195m ($265m) and Areva’s €280m.

The new business will be led bygeneral managerArnaud Bellanger, current executive vice president of Offshore Wind at Areva, with Xabier Etxeberria, Gamesa’s business CEO, the joint venture’s chairman.

It will have an HQ in Zamudio, Spain, with the executive board based in Paris.

Areva is putting in its 2.8GW pipeline and production facilities in Bremerhaven (turbine assembly) and Stade (blades), both in Germany.

Gamesa is also envisaged to become a preferred parts supplier to the JV under the agreement.

The JV will work on the optimisation of Areva’s M5000, and Gamesa's 5.0 MW offshore turbines, as well as focusing on development of the Areva 8MW machine that has already seen success in the recent French offshore wind tender.

The two partners said they expect the new venture to win business in Germany, France and the UK. It will fulfill existing industrial commitments in the latter two countries.

A statement said: "The new company will be ideally positioned to become a leading player in the offshore wind segment with a 2.8GW pipeline and the objective of garnering a market share close to 20% in Europe by 2020.

“From the outset, the joint venture will boast numerous committed customers, amongst which are Iberdrola and the GDF Suez-EDPR-Neoen Marine consortium.

“The joint venture is also well positioned, thanks to both partners’ extensive track records to take advantage of the high-potential of the Asian market, where forecasts indicate an installed capacity of 18GW within the same time horizon.”

It added: "The closing of the transaction is expected to be secured by the fourth quarter of this year, subject to approval by the French government and the relevant competition authorities in Europe and other jurisdictions.”

The finalising of the Areva-Gamesa alliance continues the trend for JVs in European offshore wind, with Alstom and GE also planning a link-up in the market, and Vestas and Mitsubishi already well off and running with MHI Vestas Offshore.