Wind energy – Vestas number 1, Sinovel second in wind turbines

China’s largest wind turbine maker, has replaced General Electric Co (GE) as the world’s second largest such company behind Danish manufacturer Vestas, according to the company’s annual report released Wednesday in Beijing.

Sinovel, China’s largest wind turbine manufacturer since 2008, occupied 11.1 percent of the global wind turbine market share at the end of 2010, up from 9.2 percent the previous year. The company held 23.2 percent of China’s recently developed wind turbine market in 2010.

According to the International Wind Energy Development-World Update 2010, released by the Denmark-based BTM Consult on March 28, Vestas increased its world wind turbine market share from 12.5 percent in 2009 to 14.8 percent in 2010, while GE dropped from 12.7 percent in 2009 to 9.6 percent in 2010. According to the annual report, Sinovel offered 4.386 GW in newly installed capacity to the Chinese wind power market in 2010.

In 2010, Sinovel reported a more than 20.3 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) operating income, up 48.03 percent from 2009. The operating profit climbed to 3.1 billion yuan, up 49.1 percent. Net profit increased to nearly 2.9 billion yuan, up 50.87 percent year-on-year.

Sinovel’s product mix is comprised of 1.5 mW and 3 mW doubly-fed wind turbines. The company produced a 5 mW prototype in October 2010. It expects to roll a 6 mW prototype off the production line in June.

In January 2010, Sinovel floated stock in China’s Shanghai Stock Exchange (STE) at 90 yuan per share, a record high issue price in the bourse.

Sinovel said that in 2010 the company’s sales of 1.5 mW turbines, their most mainstream model, rose 42.4 percent over the previous year. The gross profit rate landed at nearly 20.5 percent, down 0.3 percent from 2009. The sales of 3 MW turbines in 2010 increased 1777.4 percent over the previous year.

Tao Gang, vice-president of Sinovel, said the sound performance of the company in 2010 could mostly be attributed to lower procurement prices of components and parts as well as the large scale production of 3 MW turbines.

Tao said that the 1.5 MW turbines have been produced in large quantity in China, highlighting fierce competition. Sinovel will give priority to producing 3 MW and larger turbines in the future to maintain or enlarge its shares in the domestic market and to explore the world market.

By the end of 2010, Sinovel had 14,404.5 MW of orders on hand. These orders consisted of 3,619.5 MW signed orders (3,229.5 MW for 1.5 MW wind turbines and 390 MW for 3 MW turbines) and 10,785 MW orders that were won but not yet signed (4,182 MW for 1.5 MW turbines, 5,610 MW for 3 MW turbines, 945 MW for 5 MW turbines, and 48 MW for 6 MW wind turbines).

According to China Wind Energy Association (CWEA), in 2010, China had 18.9 GW wind turbines installed, up 37.1 percent than 2009. The cumulative installed capacity totaled at 44.7 GW.

The Chinese government is considering how to extend policy support to develop 3-5 MW on-shore wind turbines and 5-10 mW offshore wind turbines over the next five years.