Gamesa Corp. Technologica SA, a Spanish wind-turbine company that began developing its first offshore wind turbines last year, is talking to at least three potential customers, Chief Executive Officer Jorge Calvet said.
“We are in very advanced discussions with more than three very significant and large utilities with whom we expect to close opportunities in a short period of time,” Calvet said in an interview yesterday in Southampton, southern England. He declined to name the companies, which he described as prominent in the U.K., Germany, France, Belgium and Holland. “You have all the names there,” he said.
Gamesa also may be “active” in any consolidation in the industry, Calvet said, a buyer rather than a target.
The comments are part of Gamesa’s effort to characterize itself as a survivor in the wind industry, which is facing increased competition from Chinese companies and slower growth in orders. The Zamudio-based company’s shares have fallen 41 percent this year, more than double the decline of the Bloomberg Wind Energy index of 64 companies in the industry.
European governments have slashed subsidies for renewable power and Gamesa hasn’t yet won orders for its offshore wind turbines, part of a plan to diversify from land-based models. Calvet said he might have orders soon.
“I would love to have opportunity to announce some contracts or agreements in the next six months,” Calvet said.
Calvet said any consolidation activity would be more than “traditional mergers and acquisitions.” Instead, it will be a “disappearance of suppliers, so the consolidation is going to be by disappearance of capacity.”
Gamesa itself has received no takeover offers, Calvet said. “We’re acquisitive on one side, but it has to be for opportunities that makes sense for our shareholders and our business,” Calvet said.
“We’re not actively seeking, but if a good opportunity comes along we would look at it very carefully, both in on- and offshore wind,” Calvet said. Opportunities would be global and along the full wind value chain, he said.
The company is forging ahead with its plan to create an offshore wind hub in the U.K., while other companies are pulling back. Clipper WindPower, owned by United Technologies Corp., suspended its own wind turbine project in northeast England. General Electric Co. also has said it may scale back its presence in the offshore wind market in Norway and Sweden.
Gamesa is aiming to capture 10 percent to 15 percent of the global offshore wind market by 2020, Calvet said, and is closing 52 percent of its production capacity for onshore turbines in Spain.
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