MHI Vestas 'on plan', says CEO

MHI Vestas Offshore CEO Jens Tommerup said the announcement of a four-unit deal to deploy its V164 machine in Denmark confirms its credentials as the “most tested turbine in the world”, as the company conducts detailed talks over major projects.

Tommerup said placing the quartet of 0-series V164s as a “pack” of turbines onshore at the coastal Velling Mærsk project in western Denmarkwill offer valuable insights into installation, O&M and how the machines interact, for example in relation to wake effect impacts.

“[The installation] means we can continue our learning and our testing. We will definitely be ready to go offshore with the V164.”

The deployment, due from mid-2015, keeps MHI Vestas on track with the plan formulated when the joint venture was born three months ago, he added.

The prototype turbine already installed at the Danish national testing centre in Østerild is “running very well, we are very pleased”.

The latest advance for the MHI Vestas 8MW machine comes after Recharge revealed that a potential major competitor, Samsung heavy Industries, is stepping back from the offshore market.

It emerged in April that the Japanese-Swedish joint venture was being considered along with Samsung to supply the EDPR-led 1.1GW Moray Firth project in Scotland.

Tommerup would not discuss individual cases but said: ”We have been received very well, and are into talks with some projects, some of the bigger projects, where we actually talk about design and how the V164 can bring the cost of energy down. I’m quite optimistic.”

MHI Vestas also faces a reincarnated competitor in the form of Alstom and its offshore wind partner GE of the US, and potentially a link between Areva and Alstom.

Tommerup said: “Our two shareholders had seen the market was going to change. Projects are becoming much bigger, much more demanding.

“We are not surprised that we see the industry on a journey to become a much more mature industry...with less, but bigger, players.”

With the Velling Mærsk turbines set to be supplied from Vestas’ facilities in Denmark and the Isle of Wight, in southern England, the joint venture is laying its plans for mass production, which Tommerup said will be dictated by orders received. "We are quite developed in our strategy,” he added.

Tommerup said the JV is coping with the challenges of bringing together the Vestas and Mitsubihi teams.

“It's going well. We’re aware it’s a challenge to integrate two cultures that are quite different, but we’re very pleased with the first three months.”