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Siemens to Pursue Wind Power Tech for Growth

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It was a sunny and windy afternoon in Beijing. Richard Hausmann, president and CEO of Siemens China, could hear the wind whistling outside his office located in the northern part of the city.

"China has rich wind energy resources, and Siemens is now taking an active role in the country's wind power sector," said Hausmann, who is also CEO of Siemens Northeast Asia.

The German company started construction on a 581 million yuan wind power equipment factory in Shanghai in May. The move marks its entry into China's wind power market.

The plant will first produce blades for wind turbines with capacities of 2.3 megawatts and 3.6 megawatts. The plant is expected to begin operations in the second half of next year.

With the plant, Siemens has gained a foothold in China's booming wind energy market, Hausmann said.

Besides providing equipment to domestic customers, Siemens can also supply a full range of services in the wind power area, he added.

Although wind power still accounts for a small part of Siemens' portfolio in China wind power, Hausmann said he is confident about the future.

"Wind power will continue to see rapid growth in China in the future, as the government is encouraging the use of more clean energy in total energy consumption," Hausmann said.

"As a market leader, we will bring our most advanced products and solutions to the Chinese market," he said.

Siemens began wind turbine production through its acquisition of the Danish wind power developer Bonus Energy in 2004. The company has since developed into the leading company in the offshore wind power arena, Hausmann said.

"We are now also talking with some Chinese companies on some offshore wind power projects," he said.

Solar energy

In addition to wind power, Siemens is also looking closely at investment opportunities in solar energy in China.

The company's recent acquisition of an Israeli solar power company can further facilitate its entry into the domestic market, Hausmann said.

The company agreed to buy the solar thermal power company Solel Solar Systems Ltd (Solel) for about US$418 million earlier this month.

Solel, based in Beit Shemesh, Israel, develops and builds solar thermal power plants and makes solar receivers. The receivers are main components for the facilities that collect sunlight with mirrors to generate steam to power turbines.

"With the deal, we have strengthened our portfolio in solar energy. We are also very interested in the sector in the Chinese market," Hausmann said.

To develop more renewable energy business is in line with Siemens' strategy to place more focus on energy-efficient and environmentally friendly technologies, Hausmann said.

"The percentage of our company's revenue generated by our green portfolio will increase significantly," he told reporters at a recent press conference.

"China's demand for environmentally friendly technologies will remain robust. This will continue to be a strong growth area for Siemens in China," he said.

The company earlier announced it expected to receive orders totaling 20 billion yuan from China's economic stimulus package in the next three years.

Of those expected orders, half would go to energy-efficient and environmentally friendly technologies, the company said.

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