Alstom Building Center in China to Expand Hydro Business

Alstom SA, the world’s third-largest power-equipment maker, is working on the second phase of a hydropower technology center in Tianjin to boost business, Alstom Hydro China Co. general manager Yves Rannou said.

“We see huge potential to be exploited” in China’s hydropower market, particularly in the south, Jerome Pecresse, renewable power president for Alstom, said in an interview. He expects the market to continue to grow.

Construction is expected to be completed by mid-2013, Rannou said today at a Tianjin briefing. Alstom’s Tianjin plant is being relocated and expanded in the city. Once completed, it’ll be the company’s biggest hydro equipment factory.

The new center, in the northern city of Tianjin, is Alstom’s sixth after France, Switzerland, Brazil, India and Canada.

China’s goal of deriving 11.4 percent of its energy from non-fossil fuels by 2015 has spurred companies to increase investment. The company is developing 1-gigawatt hydro turbines, larger than its current biggest unit capacity of 800 megawatts, Rannou also told reporters.

Alstom is seeking more components locally to cut assembly time, Pecresse said. Alstom aims to boost its market share in Chinese hydropower from the current 20 percent market share, he said, competing with local companies such as Harbin Electric Co. and Dongfang Electric Corp.

The company, based in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, has supplied turbines to Chinese hydroelectric projects such as the Three Gorges dam, the largest in the world. Alstom is also working with Sinohydro Group Ltd. on the Bui site in Ghana and on the Rudbar development in Iran with China Gezhouba Group Co.

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