Ming Yang sees signs for hope

Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Ming Yang claimed market trends are helping to get it back on track after a painful 2012 that ended in a net loss of 303.7m yuan ($48.7m).

At this time last year Ming Yang – China’s biggest non-state-owned turbine maker – was posting a 2011 profit of 253.1m yuan.

The company sold 804.5MW of turbines last year, a 45.3% decrease on 2011’s figure, and pulled in revenue of 2.9bn yuan, a 47% fall.

In the final quarter of 2012 the company lost 164.9m yuan, but at least managed to increase revenue by 11% compared to the same period in 2011, thanks to a rise in selling prices.

The company’s CEO Zhang Chuanwei admitted: "2012 was a very tough year, not just for us but also for the whole industry around the world."

Like other producers heavily exposed to the Chinese market, Ming Yang has felt the effect of a dramatic slowing in new capacity additions as the government put the brakes on uncontrolled expansion.

However, Zhang pointed to a boost in the company’s China market-share to 8.7% from 2011’s 6.7%.

Zhang said: “As the grid connection issues gradually get resolved, we should continue to see utilisation hours of wind farms increase, further enhancing wind as a viable alternative source of power in China."

The Ming Yang boss said it had also noticed a shift in market preference to 2MW-plus turbines from the 1.5MW machines previously favoured in China.

At that level “we believe pricing is firmer and there is more room for manufacturing cost reductions", Zhang said.

“We have already seen [turbine] pricing moving towards 4,000 yuan per kW and would not be surprised to see the average price per kW exceeding that level by the end of 2013."

Ming Yang in February issued a bullish 2013 shipment forecast of 2.5GW. It has significant ambitions in India after signing a co-operation deal with local developer Reliance Power, and is poised to enter the offshore market at home.

Earlier this week Ming Yang sold its shareholding in developer Huadian Fuxin Energy, raising $35.5m.