Eleon to manufacture wind turbines with Chinese state-owned company

CSSC shipyard. Photo is illustrative.
CSSC shipyard. Photo is illustrative. Source: CSSC/Creative Commons

Estonian private wind technology developer Eleon concluded an agreement on long-term strategic cooperation with the Chinese state-owned Chinese State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) in the framework of which a joint venture will be established for the development of wind energy. A plant for the building of Eleon turbines is to begin being built this summer already.

CSSC is the world's largest shipbuilding company, whose subsidiary Haizhuang Windpower has manufactured wind turbines and invested in wind farms since 2004. Enterprise Estonia's Asia Center played a key advisory role in bringing together the Chinese company and the Estonian developer of offshore wind turbines, Enterprise Estonia said in a press release.

According to Rafael Jimenez, an expert on China at the Asia Center, the renewable energy field is of fundamental importance in China and wind energy is a key element thereof.

"Eleon's cooperation project demonstrates the ability of Estonian businesses to be competitive on the global market and play an important role in the fields of innovation and renewable energy," Jimenez said.

One of the key figures at Eleon China, the new joint venture, will be Kim Kronborg Christiansen, who served as vice president of wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Manufacturing from 2007-2013. According to Christiansen, the international competitiveness of Eleon's techology is very promising.

"With its compact and enclosed generator design, Eleon's Direct Drive technology is something special, and the result of which is apparently the lowest wind turbine mass to capacity ratio in the world," he said.

According to Christiansen, it will be very interesting to see what CSSC with its industrial strength and know-how and Eleon with its innovative turbine technology will be able to accomplish together.

"Years ago, I was witness to one of the world's largest heavy industry groups establishing a joint venture with one of the largest offshore wind power companies, Mitsubishi Vestas Offshore Wind," he recalled. "Perhaps now I will be witness to the beginning of a similar success story."

Eleon board chairman Oleg Sõnajalg said that Eleon and CSSC had held lengthy and fruitful negotiations in recent months, and signed the agreement on June 8. A celebratory ceremony marking the occasion, however, will have to wait until the coronavirus crisis dies down and leaders of both companies are able to travel again.

Sõnajalg also thanked Enterprise Estonia's Asia team, whose intellectual property specialists advised the Estonian company during negotiations.

The CEO of Eleon described the establishment of a joint venture with the large Chinese company as a breakthrough for Eleon when it comes to its plans to continue development on international markets.

He described the establishment of a joint venture with the major Chinese company as a breakthrough for Eleon in the latter's plans to continue its development on international markets.

"This cooperation will allow for Eleon's innovative technology to be brought to the world's biggest energy market together with a very strong cooperation partner," Sõnajalg said.

Established in 2007, Eleon AS is an Estonian company that has developed and manufactures multi-megawatt class wind turbines. According to the company, its patented technology provides a substantial competitive edge in the construction of both land and offshore wind farms.

CSSC is the world's biggest shipbuilding conglomerate, which employs a workforce of 310,000. CSSC subsidiary Haizhuang Windpower focuses on the development and operator of wind energy-generating assets and is planning to manufacture 2,000 wind turbines this year. In the years to come, the company is planning on increasing its land-based turbine manufacturing capacity, updating its technology, and developing and marketing offshore wind turbine and floating offshore wind turbine technologies.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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