Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said on Tuesday it may make acquisitions or forge alliances to help it make a full-fledged push into the fast-growing European wind power market.
Mitsubishi Heavy, Japan’s biggest heavy machinery maker, has a strong presence in the United States, but its wind power operations in Europe are limited to a smaller number of countries such as Portugal.
Mitsubishi Heavy lags behind local rivals in the region including Demark’s Vestas, the world’s top wind turbine maker, Germany’s Siemens and Enercon and Spain’s Gamesa.
“We are considering M&As, joint ventures and license agreements as possible ways to ease our entry to the European market,” Eitaro Takayama, general manager of Mitsubishi Heavy’s wind power system business unit, told a news conference.
“We are in talks with some (European) companies about various possibilities, but haven’t decided on anything.”
Wind energy is a booming market in Europe, which has become a world leader in the use of renewable energy as global warming concerns boost demand for wind, wave and solar power.
Mitsubishi Heavy now has 3,014 wind power turbines in the United States out of its global total of 3,513 units.
Mitsubishi Heavy said it plans to triple its global production capacity in wind turbine generators to 1,200 megawatts a year from the current 400 megawatts by the end of the 2008/09 year.
That would bring the company’s global market share to 5 percent from the current 2 or less percent, it said, adding it hopes to reach 10 percent by around 2013.
By 2010, Mitsubishi Heavy said it expects its production capacity to go up to 2,000 megawatts a year and about 300 megawatts of that to come from the European market.
As part of efforts to study business strategies for Europe, Takayama said the heavy machinery maker earlier this month opened a windmill design office in Hamburg, Germany by inviting windmill engineers from Denmark, Germany and Spain.
By Aiko Hayashi
10 April 2007
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