GE wants become big player in offshore wind, eyes Adwen takeover

Tue May 3, 2016 8:22am EDT
 
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By Geert De Clercq

PARIS (Reuters) - General Electric (GE.N: Quote) wants to become a major player in the offshore wind industry and is interested in buying the Areva-Gamesa (AREVA.PA: Quote) (GAM.MC: Quote) offshore joint venture Adwen, GE's new head of renewables said on Tuesday.

Following its takeover of the energy assets of French Alstom (ALSO.PA: Quote), GE in November 2015 created a global renewable energy business unit with sales of 9 billion euros ($10.42 billion), staff of 13,000, and its headquarters in France.

The resulting enlarged unit has built about 25 percent of the world's installed base of hydropower and more than 20 percent of global onshore wind capacity, but has virtually no presence in the capital-intensive offshore business, which GE had always steered clear of.

"We have the ambition to become one of the three major players in the offshore wind market," GE renewables head Jerome Pecresse told reporters in Paris on Tuesday.

He added it was too soon to discuss a market share target. Germany's Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote) is European market leader for offshore wind with 63.5 percent of installed capacity end 2015, followed by MHI Vestas (VWS.CO: Quote) (7011.T: Quote) with 18.5 pct.

With the acquisition of Alstom, GE also acquired contracts to build 1,500 megawatts of offshore wind on the French coast for utility EDF (EDF.PA: Quote), which are set to be built by 2019.

Areva-Gamesa joint venture Adwen also has contracts to build 1,500 MW of offshore wind on the French coast for utilities Engie (ENGIE.PA: Quote) and Iberdrola (IBE.MC: Quote).

But Germany's Siemens is negotiating a takeover of Gamesa and has no interest in acquiring Adwen, which is blocking the Siemens-Gamesa talks, sources have told Reuters.   Continued...

 
The logo of U.S. conglomerate General Electric is pictured at the company's site in Belfort, June 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Vincent Kessler