Exclusive: Areva, Gamesa in offshore wind turbine venture talks: sources

Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:22pm EST
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By Andrés González and Benjamin Mallet

MADRID/PARIS (Reuters) - French state-controlled nuclear group Areva and Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa are in advanced talks over a joint venture in offshore wind turbines, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

Both firms would hold a 50 percent stake in the new entity, which would focus on expanding the promising but capital-intensive offshore windfarms business, one of the sources said.

Areva and Gamesa declined to comment on the potential deal but both have been tipped in the past to be exploring partnerships in offshore wind.

"In offshore you need a strategic partner. Without a deal, Gamesa would have fallen behind," said Intermoney analyst Alvaro Navarro.

He added that in Europe, around a third of the new capacity that will be installed over the next years will be offshore.

"If you're not positioned on this market, you're missing something," he said.

A renewable energy expert who declined to be named said there was sound industrial logic behind the alliance plan.

"Given the costs, going alone makes no sense anymore," he said, adding companies have to take big risks to develop technologies that are barely profitable without public subsidies.   Continued...

Logo of France's nuclear reactor maker Areva, is seen during the company's 2009 annual results presentation in Paris March 4, 2010. REUTERS/Charles Platiau