Wind energy

Siemens Gamesa: “We will maintain manufacturing and installation operations”

While the coronavirus is reaping havoc and the oil price plunged below 30 dollars, Siemens Gamesa has provided a shred of good news in an otherwise disastrous week: the wind turbine manufacturer will be able to maintain its operating activities, including manufacturing, installation and service. 

“Siemens Gamesa´s highest priority is to safeguard the health and safety of our employees during this crisis, but we are also seeking to ensure that we can continue to deliver products and services to our customers. We have therefore put in place rigorous protocols that allow us to maintain our operating activities – including manufacturing, installation and service – without compromising the health of our employees”, the wind turbine manufacturer writes in a statement e-mailed to PCJ.

Together with infrastructure and power generation, the renewables market is one of the biggest drivers of project cargo. If the construction of both onshore and offshore wind farms can continue without too many restrictions, this could somewhat cushion the blow to the industry.

A spokesperson of Groningen Seaports confirmed that port operations are currently proceeding as normal, with all companies following Dutch government guidelines. Groningen Seaports is the port authority of Delfzijl and Eemshaven, which are important hubs of the offshore wind industry in the North Sea. Other Dutch offshore ports like North Sea Port and the Port of Rotterdam are also maintaining operations.

WindEurope warns of delays

First analysis suggests that COVID-19 will have moderate effects on international supply chains for wind energy, industry organization WindEurope states. However, the outbreak in Europe is still in an early stage and it is too soon to judge its impact on production and revenues in the sector, the organization adds. The first logistical delays in the supply chain can be observed already.

“A knock-on effect of a slowdown in China’s manufacturing output is already visible in other countries. We will need to take a strategic approach to ensure that disruption is minimised”, says WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson.

“With COVID-19 we are likely to see delays in the development of new wind farm projects which could cause developers to miss the deployment deadlines in countries’ auction systems and face financial penalties. Governments should be flexible on how they apply their rules. And if ongoing auctions are undersubscribed because developers can’t bid in time, governments should award what they can and auction the non-awarded volumes at a later stage”, Dickson adds.

Author: Adnan Bajic

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