Areva, Gamesa confirm JV plan

Areva and Gamesa have confirmed that they expect to finalise the creation of an offshore wind joint venture company within the next few months, saying they will form a “European champion” that can succeed in the global market.

The two companies said a few minutes ago they have entered exclusive negotiations over the 50/50 JV company, as Rechargereported on Friday.

In a statement confirming the move, the two prospective partners claimed the new entity will enjoy “significant synergies" that can succeed in Northern Europe and Asia.

They will pool their staff, and offshore wind related technologies and assets into the JV.

In Areva’s case that includes the Bremerhaven turbine assembly and Stade blade plants, plus offshore technology and commercial contracts.

Gamesa will put in its “existing multi-megawatt technologies applicable to offshore, the 5MW platform and Arinaga turbine prototype, as well as offshore related engineering, operation and maintenance capabilities."

The JV will also enter into a preferred supplier agreement with Gamesa for some key components.

The JV will continue to market  Areva’s M5000 turbine, which benefits from a strong track-record. “Moreover, an enhanced 5MW-generation turbine will be developed in the short-term benefiting from the full potential of Gamesa's multi-megawatt cutting edge technologies,” the statement said.

At the 8MW level, there will be “acceleration in the development of the next generation of turbines, benefiting from investment efforts undertaken to date by both parties and from the technological synergies of the JV,” the partners said.

The joint statement said Areva will bring its track record in the offshore sector established since 2004, and notably including the deployment of 120 5MW turbines in the North Sea.

Gamesa will offer its “comprehensive technological capabilities in onshore and offshore, leveraged on its 19 years leading track-record in the industry throughout the wind value chain. The company also has a strong capacity for industrialization, based on its proven knowledge and experience in supply chain development,” added the statement.

The JV “will fulfill existing industrial development commitments both in the UK and France, that have up until now been led by Areva” –  notably a turbine assembly plant and blades manufacturing facility at Le Havre, and the implementation of a network of sub-contractors and partners.

Ignacio Martin, chairman of Gamesa said: “This agreement with Areva allows Gamesa to position itself as a market leader in the offshore wind industry. The JV will provide Gamesa with an additional profitable growth platform complementary with its 2013-2015 business plan and which shall create material synergies with our onshore wind activities.”

Areva CEO  Luc Oursel  said: “By choosing to create a European offshore wind champion with Gamesa, Areva is playing a key role in the consolidation, already underway, of the offshore wind sector, and confirms its long-term commitment to renewable energies.”

The two parties will continue talks with each other and relevant staff, and expect to sign a definitive agreement within the next few months.