Alstom moves wind energy HQ to Barcelona and mulls growth in the US and Asia
French multinational company Alstom is to transfer from Switzerland to Barcelona its wind energy subsidiary, Alstom executive vice president Philippe Joubert confirmed in an interview with Spanish newspaper Expansion. The division will be set up in Ecotècnia facilities at Barcelona’s 22@ technology district. The company, which employs about a 1,000 workers, will work on its international expansion from its new headquearters, Mr. Joubert said.
Alstom has also hired business executive Alfonso Faubel who will become the CEO for Alstom Ecotècnia Wind. The French group entered the wind energy business in 2007 with the acquisition of Spanish wind turbine company Ecotècnia, in a deal valued at 350 million euros.
Why Barcelona? “It’s where we have the know-how in this business and and we need to regroup to face the difficulties of the moment,” said Joubert. “The process of integration with Ecotècnia has been completed very successfully,” added the president of Alstom in Spain, Antonio Oporto.
Ecotècnia has installed over 1,500MW of cumulated capacity in seven countries (Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, India, Cuba and Japan). Alstom Ecotecnia has equipped or is equipping over 72 wind farms, over 50 of which are located in Spain. Alstom Ecotècnia has also developed a wind farm construction activity in Spain that contributes to generating turbine sales.
The executive vice president of Alstom considers the current situation a good opportunity to consider purchasing opportunities in the wind business. “We want to double the size of Ecotècnia in the coming years”.
“We are considering multiple purchases in United States and Asia, probably in China,” said Philippe Joubert. The company is developing larger turbines for these markets. It just installed in Barcelona the first unit of its new model: Ecotècnia 100. With its 100 meter rotor diameter, the new Ecotècnia 100 turbine has a power output of 3MW.
“The wind energy market has been the hardest hit by funding problems, but will also be the first out of the crisis,” said Oporto. “We are not yet a major player in the wind business, but we have gained many years´advantage with the purchase of Ecotècnia,” says Joubert. The subsidiary has a market share of approximately 10% in Spain, but aims to control 5% of the global market in the coming years.