In its interim financial report for Q2 2008, world-leading wind turbine manufacturer Vestas reveals a range of investments in manufacturing capacity and research facilities that span the globe.
In the US, Vestas will continue to expand its presence in the state of Colorado where it already has a blade factory in upstate Windsor employing 650 workers and turning out a projected 1,800 blades annually. Vestas will now double its blade production capacity in the Centennial State with a USD 180m blade factory in Brighton, employing another 650 people. At the same time, Vestas has announced its intent to build its first nacelle* assembly factory on US soil, adjacent to the new blade plant in Brighton. The USD 110m factory will create 700 new jobs and have the capacity to produce 1,400 nacelles per year.
The location of wind turbine tower factory – billed as 'the world's largest' – which Vestas announced in November 2007 would be sited in Colorado, has still not been confirmed, although a story posted on the website of the Denver Post says that Pueblo is being considered.
In China, Vestas has announced its intent to extend its existing generator and machining facilities in Tianjin, with the new capacity ready for commissioning in mid-2009. Since January this year, the manufacturing plant in Tianjin has been supplying Vestas' smaller scale V52-850 kW wind turbine, which is popular on the Chinese market. Previously, this turbine was produced in Europe and shipped to China.
In the UK, Vestas has resolved to invest in a new blade technology centre on the Isle of Wight on the south coast of England. Vestas already has a blade factory on the island, which has been in operation since 2000. The new centre is expected to become operational in Q2 2010 and will provide facilities for testing what Vestas calls 'the world's longest wind turbine blades'.
In Spain, Vestas will extend its nacelle plant to more than treble the current annual output of 450 nacelles to 1,500. This EUR 50m extension is slated for commissioning by mid-2010.
Finally in Denmark, Vestas' new R&D Centre in Aarhus, Jutland, which is due to open in November this year, will be extended to provide room for 900 employees instead of the 500 originally planned from Q2 2010.
Vestas is headquartered in Randers, Jutland, and employs 15,305 people worldwide. The company has installed more than 35,000 wind turbines in 63 countries on five continents, and has a 23% share of the world market. In 2007, Vestas generated revenues of EUR 4.9bn and profit after tax totalled EUR 291m. The company has production facilities in Denmark, Germany, China, India, Italy, UK, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Australia and USA, and has planned or operational research facilities in Denmark, Singapore, India (Chennai), USA (Houston) and UK (Isle of Wight).
* the nacelle is the turbine housing behind the rotor at the top of the tower – Ed.