Moventas to open France subsidiary

Moventas will establish a subsidiary in France to tap the growing wind-turbine service market, following on its €80m ($106m) order last year to supply gearboxes to Areva’s 5MW offshore turbine.

The Finnish gear-maker and repair specialist will open an office in Bordeaux targeting the whole of France, where it sees “good” service opportunities for both its wind and industrial-gearbox business.

Despite near-term regulatory and financial challenges that saw France install just 404MW of wind last year – less than Turkey – it boasts the world’s eighth highest cumulative capacity, at 7.2GW, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

“The outlook in France is very promising,” says Francois Bonomo, who will head Moventas France.

The company has already pledged to create jobs in Le Havre as part of its contract with Areva.

While its supply deal with Areva represents a critical growth avenue for its wind division, the servicing of existing turbines also represents a powerful growth opportunity as the wind industry matures in many markets.

Earlier this month the company brought into operation several “Mobile Service Units” in the US, capable of making up-tower fixes in the field as it looks to migrate repairs “from the workshop to the turbine”.

Moventas filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and was last year acquired by Scottish engineering group Clyde Blowers.