Suzlon, the Indian wind turbine manufacturer, has revealed plans to more than double its production capacity to take advantage of soaring demand, including from China and India, and to list its Hansen Transmissions subsidiary on the London Stock Exchange.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Tulsi Tanti, Suzlon chairman and managing director, said that his group’s board had approved investment to expand its manufacturing capacity from 2,700MW to 5,700MW by the end of 2008. The new wind turbine factories would be built in India, but two of them would be located near the country’s ports in order to serve the international market.
Suzlon has grown rapidly since its founding in 1995. The company is now the fifth largest manufacturer of wind turbines in the world, behind rivals including General Electric of the US and Vestas of Denmark.
Mr Tanti said that he aimed to expand Suzlon’s market share from 14 per cent to 25 per cent.
“We are the fastest-growing company in the industry”, he said, adding that his group had grown by 100 per cent in each of the past three years compared with average sector growth of 20 per cent to 25 per cent.
He said that Suzlon built and installed 1000MW of wind turbines in the first half of this year compared with 1450MW for the whole of 2006 – “and the first half normally accounts for 40 per cent of the year’s business”.
Suzlon and Repower Systems, the German turbine maker, had more than $6bn of orders representing more than 4,700MW of capacity on their books for 2008 and 2009, according to Mr Tanti. This year Suzlon paid €1.34bn to take over Germany’s Repower, beating a rival bid from Areva, the French energy group.
Mr Tanti said that the acquisition meant Suzlon was now a fully integrated turbine manufacturer and that it did not need to make any more acquisitions.
“At this point, we are in the full value chain. We don’t see any blocks missing or any immediate acquisitions needed.” However, he added that the group was “always open” to doing more deals if synergies could be achieved.
Last year Suzlon paid $565m to buy Belgian gearbox maker Hansen Transmissions International. Mr Tanti said Suzlon was preparing to list Hansen on the London Stock Exchange, and said more details would be given next month.
Another recent development is Suzlon’s move into making components such as gearboxes and rotor blades to sell to other wind turbine groups.
“Suzlon is the only organisation with full access to every component in the wind process,” said Mr Tanti.
He said that there were “huge opportunities for growth” in the Chinese wind power market, where 3,000MW to 4,000MW of wind power had been installed and about 10,000MW was being built.
Chinese companies that wanted to build wind turbines were being held back by bottlenecks in the supply chain which made it hard to get hold of components. “For some things, the next four to five years are sold out. There are lots of opportunities to sell components to Chinese turbine makers,” said Mr Tanti.