China to Construct Wind Turbines for Greece

Four representatives of Sinovel, including Chairman and President Han Junliang, attended the meeting in early September with Ioannis Tsipouridis, CEO of Athens-based PPC Renewables SA.

The 200 to 300-MW onshore wind farm project is planned for Rodopi in Northern Greece. Under the agreement, Sinovel may be an equity partner in this and other projects. The partnership may also let PPC Renewables win financing from the China Development Bank Corp.

“I would like Sinovel to be co-investors and hope our cooperation involves some financing,” said Tsipouridis. The bank may fulfill the role of an export credit agency and guarantee a Sinovel loan.

Chinese turbine makers are expanding abroad as nations from the U.S. to Europe add wind farms to curb emissions and cut reliance on fossil fuels. By one account, four of the 10 biggest global suppliers were Chinese in 2010. Public Power and Sinovel agreed earlier in the year to team up for on an onshore wind park in Greece and possibly an offshore park and turbine plant.

Greece is struggling to cut the biggest debt burden in the euro region’s history while seeking to meet the Europe’s clean-energy target by 2020. The nation hopes to have installed 10,000 MW of wind power by then, up from the current 1,300 MW, according to Tsipouridis. That could be 8,700 MW more, or 4,350, 2-MW turbines, a large order by any standard.

Last year, Vestas Wind Systems said it expects growth in Greece as the government moves to attract renewable-energy investment. Tsipouridis suggested that the country can be a “gate” for Chinese turbine makers to enter the European market.