Tokyo, April 10, 2007 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will triple its production capacity in wind turbine generators from the current 400 MW (megawatts) per year to 1,200 MW/Yr by the end of fiscal 2008 in order to respond to continuing brisk market demand, particularly in the U.S. To achieve this objective, MHI will invest approximately 4 billion yen. Specifically, the company will improve and expand wind turbine nacelle*1 production facilities at its Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works and Yokohama Dockyard & Machinery Works. At the same time, the wind turbine blade production plant of VienTek LLC*2 in Mexico, which manufactures blades mainly for the U.S. market, will also be expanded to cope with the production increase.
The main focus of the investment is to ramp up mass production of nacelles and blades for the company's 2.4 MW wind turbines: the MWT92/2.4 and MWT95/2.4*3.
Currently, MHI produces nacelles at the Koyagi Plant of its Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works and the Honmoku Plant of the Yokohama Dockyard & Machinery Works. Fabrication of nacelles for the MWT62/1.0 (also known as MWT-1000A), which is MHI's best-selling 1 MW wind turbine, will be shifted from Nagasaki to Yokohama. The Nagasaki production facility will be refurbished and dedicated to 2.4 MW nacelles, with annual production capacity increased from the current 400 MW to over 600 MW. Meanwhile, the 1 MW nacelle fabrication line at Yokohama will be largely expanded and 2.4 MW nacelle production lines will be newly introduced. Production capacity at Yokohama will also exceed 600 MW/Yr. In total, MHI's wind turbine nacelle production capacity will thereby come to top 1,200 MW/Yr.
To meet expanded turbine blade requirements, both the plant site and plant floor space will be expanded at VienTek and production lines for 2.4 MW blades (45m class) will be newly introduced, with the aim to triple production capacity to 1,200 MW/Yr.
The MWT92/2.4 and MWT95/2.4 are strategically targeted at the global market for large-scale wind turbine generators. MHI developed the MWT92/2.4 proprietarily and, since January 2006, has verified its performance and reliability through testing using an actual production model built at the Kanazawa Plant of its Yokohama Dockyard & Machinery Works. The company has already received orders for 287 units from the U.S. and taken many business enquiries from potential customers. Adopting the largest rotor diameter (92/95m) and longest blades (45m class) in its class, the MWT92/2.4 and MWT95/2.4 are capable of efficiently generating electricity even at modest wind velocity.
The ever-expanding wind turbine market is expected to sustain 30% growth into the future. Global wind power generation is estimated to reach 29,000 MW in 2010 and 56,000 MW in 2015. In the U.S., which is MHI's foremost target market, wind turbine demand is expected to remain robust in tandem with measures to fight global warming, such as extension of production tax credit (PTC) for renewable energy and the introduction of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). In response, MHI will continue to develop large-scale, high-efficiency wind turbines addressing the needs of the market and strengthen its production capacity in order to further expand its wind turbine business.
|1.||The nacelle is a box-shaped unit, installed at the top of a wind turbine tower, housing a generator, speed-up gear, control system and electrical system.|
|2.||VienTek LLC was established in 2002 as an equally owned joint venture between Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc., MHI's power system business subsidiary in the U.S., and TPI Composites Inc.|