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Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Europe’s biggest wind turbine maker, expects to increase its market share in China this year with the introduction of its latest products and technology to a market traditionally dominated by large-scale state-owned enterprises and domestic manufacturers.
“We see clear signs" of a shift from a focus on low costs to energy output and internal rate of return for turbines that can operate for 20 years, Chief Executive Officer Anders Runevad said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Tom MacKenzie in Beijing. It’s “a market that fits Vestas a lot better."
Vestas is facing an uphill battle in China, where its market share has been eroded by the emergence of local suppliers such as Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. Vestas has held about 1 percent of the market for turbine installations in China for the last two years, down from a little more than 23 percent 10 years ago, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“Vestas’s wind turbines are theoretically the most expensive in China, though they are known for good quality," said Zhou Yiyi, a Shanghai-based analyst at BNEF.
However, the quality edge Vestas offers has been difficult to capitalize on because China has had to curtail wind power in some sections of the country, she said.
International suppliers are having better luck winning orders in regions where wind speeds are lower and the terrain is complex, Zhou said.
“Our strategy that we talked about 1 1/2 years ago to bring the latest technology to China is an important part of our step to improve our position," Vestas’s Runevad said.
Vestas said in March that it is targeting the high-end niche in the Chinese wind industry. The Aarhus, Denmark-based company said on Monday that it plans to make and sell its largest onshore wind turbine, the 3.45-megawatt V136, in China.
Vestas has seen great success with the 3-megawatt platform in Europe and expects the same development in China, said Runevad, adding that production in China is also part of their global supply strategy.
— With assistance by Feifei Shen