Alstom monitors UK for factory

The French government is eager for reassurances over jobs

Alstom's 6MW Haliade machine

French group Alstom could decide to build a factory for the offshore wind sector outside of France – most notably in the UK – if the company sees “the corresponding volumes” in offshore expansion there, Markus Rieck, sales director at Alstom in Germany told Recharge.

Rieck said a decision on the matter would be taken in the next couple of years, depending on how the UK’s offshore plans through to 2020 proceed.

For the time being, Alstom will be able to supply its 6MW Haliade offshore model to markets in France and elsewhere from two manufacturing sites it is currently building in its home country.

The company has an order pipeline of 1.4GW from French offshore tenders alone, with first construction of offshore parks slated to start in 2016.

“As soon as we hit capacity limits, we need to think about our next production location,” Rieck said.

“I wouldn’t proclaim production in other countries (apart from France) today, but if a market such as the UK is actually developing the way it seems today, then of course one has to think of a future supply chain, of possible production, in the UK as well.”

Rieck didn’t mention Germany as possible future manufacturing location.

German offshore wind groups were dismayed at the recent decision by local industrial giant Siemens to build offshore wind production facilities in the UK port of Hull instead of German ports such as Bremerhaven, which already have a sizeable offshore manufacturing infrastructure.

The offshore groups blame wavering support for the offshore sector and a lack of industrial policy in Berlin for the decision.

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