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Suzlon Sees Asian Demand Ending Turbine Overcapacity in 2012

Suzlon Energy Ltd., India’s biggest wind-turbine maker, said the industry will no longer have excess capacity in two years as demand from the Asian market increases.

“No doubt capacity is in surplus today, but we are expecting it will be fully utilized in 2012,” Suzlon Chairman Tulsi Tanti said in an interview in Lisbon today. “The wind turbine industry was quite heavily affected by the economic crisis. Today I can say the worst part is over.”

The market for wind turbines will be unchanged this year from 2009, and may increase next year and in 2012, the chairman of the Ahmedabad-based company said. Turbine prices have “stabilized” and Tanti said he doesn’t see them declining further.

Suzlon earlier this month said it plans to expand capacity at its plant in China, the world’s fastest-growing green-energy market. General Electric Co. and European rivals are also opening factories in China as they compete for orders.

“The need of the Asian market is really high,” Tanti said. “Today we are just talking about India and China, but if you take the whole of Asia, it’s a very large requirement there.”

The company is also installing a factory in Brazil and has a plan to develop a plant in South Africa.

“High growth and opportunities are all in emerging markets” like India, China, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, Tanti said. “We are concentrating on those markets and that is giving the business growth.”

European Holdings

Suzlon fell 0.30, or 30 paise, to 52.4 rupees today in Mumbai trading. The shares have declined 42 percent so far this year, compared with a 15 percent increase in the benchmark Sensitive Index. Tanti has no plans to sell a stake in the company, which he said in a Sept. 13 interview will return to profit this financial year.

In Europe, Suzlon owns stakes in Belgium-based gearbox maker Hansen Transmissions International NV and Repower Systems AG, a German wind-turbine maker.

“We are positioning Repower in the offshore market strongly,” Tanti said. Suzlon owns 90.5 percent of Repower and Tanti said Suzlon hopes to acquire the remaining stake.

Suzlon has no immediate plans to sell its 26 percent stake in Hansen, Tanti said. He declined to comment on whether there is a value at which Suzlon would be willing to sell that holding. Suzlon sold a 35.2 percent interest in Hansen on Nov. 19 to help pare debt.

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