The four sections that will make up the tower of the world’s most powerful wind turbine – GE’s 12MW Haliade-X – are on their way to the Netherlands for assembly of the first prototype.

The tower segments, now on their way from contractor GRI’s factory in Seville, Spain, will join the nacelle and blades for assembly of the pilot machine in Maasvlakte-Rotterdam by the end of the summer, said the US group.

GE Renewable Energy will use the prototype to collect data needed to obtain a Type Certificate, ahead of serial production in 2021.

The Haliade-X will be 260 metres tall from base to tip when fully assembled, as it prepares to spearhead GE’s assault on the global offshore wind market.

Recharge was the first to report development of the 12MW turbine when it was unveiled in March last year as a rival to giant machines offered by MHI Vestas and Siemens Gamesa.

The turbine has recently gathered momentum with a signal by Vattenfall that it wants to use the Haliade-X off Europe, and news that GE hopes to build it in China to tackle the potentially huge offshore wind market there – both developments also reported first by Recharge.