Wind turbines: Sinovel denies facing litigation in Brazil

Sinovel Wind Group Co, China’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines, again denied Thursday media reports that the company was being pursued through courts by its Brazilian client Desenvix over allegations that Sinovel stole software codes from a US company, AMSC.

After repeated attempts seeking comments for nearly a week, Sinovel continued to claim that it has not received any document from Brazilian courts, is unable to confirm the case and is still communicating with the Brazilian company over the issue.

However, AMSC has responded to the Global Times with specific details regarding the situation, including a confirmation from a Brazilian court which proves the filing.

Desenvix, the Brazilian power company, filed a suit against Sinovel in Brazil to order the Chinese company to provide the software code embedded in 23 turbines it purchased last year, Financial Times reported on August 1.

Desenvix had signed a contract to purchase wind turbines from Sinovel last fall, and has been trying to determine whether these wind turbines contain AMSC’s stolen intellectual property after the turbines arrived in Brazil earlier this year, AMSC said.

“It is our understanding that, despite numerous attempts, they have been unable to obtain adequate assurance on this issue from Sinovel,” AMSC President and CEO Daniel P. McGahn said in a conference call last week.

“So both AMSC and Desenvix have now made filings in Brazil requesting a court-imposed inspection of those turbines,” McGahn said.

AMSC is now in the middle of a complex set of legal actions with Sinovel, which is the world’s second largest by newly installed capacity.

AMSC has filed three civil suits against Sinovel over alleged copyright and trade secret infringement and a commercial arbitration case over breach of supply contracts in Chinese courts, seeking $1.2 billion in damages.

Sinovel denied on August 2 that the company was being sued by Desenvix.

In September 2011, a court in Austria sentenced Dejan Karabasevic, a former AMSC employee, to one year in jail and two years on probation for stealing wind turbine technology from AMSC. The court ruled that Karabasevic passed the technology to Sinovel.

“We believe that based on the preponderance of our evidence that we will achieve a favorable outcome,” said Jason Fredette, vice president of marketing and communications at AMSC.

“Many observers are watching this case and the outcome may change the global wind turbine market,” said Zheng Jiaxin, chief analyst at ATKEPP International Consulting.