Siemens Gamesa has decided to buy more land adjacent to its offshore wind factory in Cuxhaven, Germany, that will ensure its production capacity can meet a growing demand in Europe, the manufacturer’s offshore wind chief executive Pierre Bauer said.
The OEM two months ago decided to buy an additional 200.000 square metres of land next to its plant at the German North Sea shore from the municipality of Cuxhaven, Bauer said at a press conference organised by VDMA during the digital WindEnergy Hamburg conference.
“That [land] can be used in various ways. We haven’t completely decided yet how we will expand the value chain in the future – whether it will be the same content that we have today in Cuxhaven or whether we will only manufacture components [there],” Bauer told Recharge.
“It is important that by securing this additional land, we will definitely have sufficient capacity to meet demand in Europe until 2026-27.”
Unseen economic growth
The company is currently also building an offshore wind factory in the French harbour city of Le Havre, which will have a similar profile to the one in Cuxhaven, he added.
Expanding production capacity is needed as Germany recently has raised its offshore wind target for 2030 to 20GW (from 15GW previously envisaged), and the EU in its Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy that was launched last month has said the economic block will need 60GW of wind at sea by 2030, and a whopping 300GW by 2050 (up from 12GW installed today).
“We need to increase the expansion and development of the offshore wind market by 25 times compared to what we have installed today,” Bauer said.
“That is a gigantic effort for the entire industry, for the entire value chain,” he said, adding that the build-up will add jobs in Germany and produce “an economic growth we haven’t seen any more in a long time.”
Asked about what impact a possible hard Brexit could have on production costs, Bauer said his company has a certain advantage by also having an offshore wind turbine blade plant in the UK port of Hull.
“There as well, we will continue to expand in order to remain competitive and be able to act in the upcoming fourth CfD [tendering] round.”
Siemens Gamesa is prepared for a possible hard Brexit through the localisation of its supply chain, he added.
The EU and the UK this week are in last-ditch talks for the UK to leave the economic block by the end of this year with a trade deal, but a ‘no deal’ scenario according to media reports seems increasingly likely.