Alstom Dives in French Offshore Wind Opportunities
Alstom has announced the signature of an exclusive partnership agreement with STX France, during a meeting of the Region Pays de la Loire strategic committee on marine energies that was held in Nantes on December 6.
This agreement covers the supply of transition parts used to affix an offshore wind turbine to its monopile foundations. This transition part was designed to meet the specific technical requirements of the Haliade 150 wind turbine in the framework of France’s second call for tender in offshore wind. STX France is a privileged partner for Alstom : the two partners are already working together on the assembly and foundations of offshore substations for export markets.
“The signing of this agreement with STX France represents an important step in the inception of a French marine energy cluster. This decision complements other initiatives taken by Alstom and EDF EN as a result of our success during France’s first call for tenders that we hope to build on as a result of the second call for tenders,” said Alstom Renewable Power Chairman Jérôme Pécresse.
The three French projects in the first call for tenders and the two projects of the second call will together help to create a renewable marine energy industrial cluster in France that can also serve other markets. To that end, Alstom’s offshore technology has been selected by KNK Wind, the project development company for Arcadis Ost 1 in Germany. Alstom’s Haliade™ 150-6MW has been submitted as part of a building permit that is presently being reviewed by the authorities. Once all the approvals and the funding are in place, Arcadis Ost 1 will feature 58 wind offshore turbines on an area of about 30 square kilometres in the territorial sea of Baltic Sea. The wind farm’s overall capacity will reach about 350 MWe.
The company said the construction of Alstom’s two factories in Saint-Nazaire that will produce nacelles and generators, which is ongoing since the spring of 2013, is progressing well. The factories are scheduled to be completed in 2014. In addition, the company plans to file an application for a building permit next week for the factories in Cherbourg that will manufacture blades and towers. In total, those plants are expected to create 5,000 jobs including 1,000 direct jobs.
The company said it has made progress in identifying and qualifying local subcontractors needed to create an industrial cluster. For example, the company continues to work closely with Neopolia and Vendée Expansion, two key local outsourcing partners who are helping Alstom to identify qualified local suppliers. Other agreements will be signed in the coming months with locally-based outsourcing partners in the Pays de la Loire (Loire-Atlantique and Vendée), Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy Regions.
Lastly, Alstom announced the start of the wind offshore activities of its engineering center. Currently, 20 engineers joined 50 people working since 2010 on the development of tidal energy. In the coming months, about thirty new employees will be hired to bolster the teams. This engineering center is the only one of its kind in France and will ultimately employ 200 people specialised in engineering, logistics, maintenance and the installation and commissioning of future projects. A decision has been made to install this engineering center, which is today based in Nantes, in a future building that will be built in Bouguenais close to the Jules Verne Technological Researches Institute (IRT), of which Alstom is an associated partner. This decision reinforces the close cooperation between Alstom and the Institute.
Press release, December 9, 2013; Image: Alstom