Gamesa and Areva have entered into exclusive negotiations to create a 50/50 joint-venture (JV) company in the field of offshore wind power.
According to the companies, the offshore market represents one of the most promising areas for the development of renewable energies over the next decade, particularly in the coastal countries of northern Europe, where the installed base should reach over 25 GW by 2020, and in Asia.
The two parties will pool personnel and offshore-wind-related technologies and assets to the JV, including Areva's turbine assembly and blade manufacturing plants in Germany, as well as offshore wind technology and commercial contracts; and Gamesa's existing multi-megawatt technologies applicable to offshore, the 5 MW platform and Arinaga turbine prototype, as well as offshore-related engineering, operation and maintenance capabilities. In addition, the JV will enter into a preferred supplier agreement with Gamesa for some key components.
The companies say the JV will fulfill existing industrial development commitments both in the U.K. and France that have, up until now, been led by AREVA. These commitments include the creation of a turbine assembly plant and blades manufacturing facility in Le Havre, France, and the implementation of a network of sub-contractors and partners.
"The JV will provide Gamesa with an additional profitable growth platform complementary with its 2013-2015 Business Plan â�¦ which shall create material synergies with our onshore wind activities," says Ignacio Martin, chairman of Gamesa.
Luc Oursel, president and CEO of Areva, adds, "By choosing to create a European offshore wind champion with Gamesa, Areva is playing a key role in the consolidation, already under way, of the offshore wind sector, and confirms its long-term commitment to renewable energies."
The definitive agreements concerning the creation of the JV will be signed within the next few months following final negotiations between the parties and discussions with personnel representative bodies at Gamesa and Areva.
This announcement follows one in September 2013 from Vestas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. that they, too, were creating a joint venture dedicated to the offshore wind industry.