BB, the Zurich-based power and automation technology group, inaugurated its fourth global wind power generator factory in Vadodara, India, in August. The factory will supply wind power generators, a crucial component in wind turbines, for the growing Indian and global markets. The new factory will produce up to 100 units per month with a rating of up to 2.5 megawatts. The 16,000-sq.-m. (172,320-sq.-ft.) factory will employ approximately 150.
"Our energy-efficient wind power generators will serve the growing need for components in the wind power industry globally," said Ulrich Spiesshofer, head of ABB's Discrete Automation and Motion business. "With our comprehensive portfolio for the industry we are proud to contribute to the generation of clean power that will help countries to meet their growing needs for electricity while reducing their emissions."
India is currently the world's fifth-largest user of wind power, and investments in this form of renewable energy are expected to continue to grow in the years ahead. ABB supplies a variety of components and solutions for wind turbine manufacturers and operators: from the robots that paint the blades to motors, drives, transformers and low- and medium-voltage equipment located in the nacelle and the products and systems that connect the power to the grid.
E Energy has launched its first manufacturing facility in Vietnam. The new factory located in the port city of Hai Phong will manufacture wind turbine components to help support the global demand for GE's wind turbine technology. Following the first phase of plant operations, GE may expand its manufacturing scope to support the company's full range of power generation equipment.
"Vietnam is an ideal place for GE to invest and expand our manufacturing capability because it has a skilled work force and a bright future for its energy sector," said John Krenicki, GE vice chairman and president and CEO of GE Energy. "Expanding our global manufacturing footprint is a strategic growth driver that will help us to respond quicker to our customers' energy needs. With demand for electricity, fuel and water continuing to rise around the world, we believe that building in Vietnam is a great investment."
The fast-track construction of the Hai Phong plant began in May 2009. Initial shipments of wind turbine-generator systems began a year later. The plant is now fully operational, currently employs more than 250 people and has exported more than 200 units of generator systems to date.
The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group, announced its contract of guarantee for Iraq. The guarantee of $5 million backs an investment into a Baghdad plant that manufactures polyethylene terephthalate (PET) preforms, the raw material used to manufacture bottles for the beverage industry.
"The investment will help Iraq reduce its reliance on imports," says MIGA's underwriter for the investment, Noureddin Ennaboulssi. "Currently, nearly all PET preforms are imported from neighboring countries."
MIGA's guarantee is covering a shareholder loan by Karo Dis Ticaret ve Sanayi Ltd. of Turkey into the project company, Sebeel Al Safa Manufacturing Petrochemicals and Water Filling Company. The guarantee was issued under MIGA's Small Investment Program, and provides coverage against the risks of currency inconvertibility and transfer restriction, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance.
Esra Pelitozu, director of Karo Dis Ticaret ve Sanayi Ltd., says that MIGA's support for the investment was instrumental in making the project a reality.
"The fact that we were seeking a MIGA guarantee helped significantly in the negotiations with a number of counterparties including the machinery manufacturers, government authorities, and raw material suppliers. It showed that the project is serious and reliable."
Iraq became a member of MIGA in 2008. The agency's support to the country is guided by the World Bank Group's interim strategy for Iraq, which calls for broad-based private-sector-led growth. MIGA's support also highlights the agency's commitment to supporting investment into conflict-affected and fragile states.
chott Solar officially opened its new headquarters in Mainz, Germany, in August as it moved from Alzenau in Lower Franconia. The building will be home to about 100 employees in sales and management.
"By arranging for our solar subsidiary to move to Mainz, we are giving them more room to grow," said Udo Ungeheuer, chairman of the board of management of Schott AG. "Furthermore, the group's new headquarters demonstrates the possibilities that solar power offers for responsible construction."
Ungeheuer said Schott has invested almost €500 million (US$694 million) at the Mainz site, which also includes manufacturing operations, between 2000 and 2010.
"This building strictly follows the sun," said architect Wolfgang Marx. "The floor plan resembles an equilateral triangle. The semi-round façade that faces the street has around 1,000 square meters [10,764 sq. ft.] of glass hanging in front of it. This truly gives it a high recognition value. Thanks to how it faces south, the façade is also ideally suited for making use of photovoltaic technology."
Marx said 82 solar modules were integrated into the façade and generate electricity. The modules are semi-transparent, meaning they allow a certain amount of daylight to pass through, yet, at the same time, offer protection against thermal overheating of the entrance hall as a result of direct sunlight. Another solar installation on the roof also generates electricity.
Renault has opened a new test center in Titu, Romania. Built on a 330-hectare (815-acre) site midway between the Dacia plant in Pitesti and the Renault Technologie Roumanie (RTR) engineering center in Bucharest, the new facility will test Group vehicles and powertrain components. Renault says it expects to employ 100 at the site by the end of the year.
The center has 100 test benches for complete vehicles and components such as shock absorbers and powertrains. The benches can simulate extreme conditions, testing the ability to withstand cold, and simulating sunlight, rain and other situations. The ribbon cutting was attended by Romanian President Traian Basescu (second from right) and Patrick Pélata, Renault's COO (right).