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Nordex launches large wind turbine rotor as H1 loss widens

German OEM presents a 163-metre rotor to expand its 5MW class as it posts a net loss of more than €55m

Wind turbine OEM Nordex has launched a new 163-metre rotor to expand its 5MW class turbines into low-wind areas, but first half 2019 results showed a widening of its consolidated net loss.

The German-Spanish manufacturer repeated, however, that it is gearing up for a high installation volume during the second half of this year that is already lifting production output.

“We are steadily expanding the Delta4000 platform to address a wide range of different requirements around the world. The new N163/5.X model presented today generates up to 20% more income at a reduced cost of energy and quicker returns on capital employed in areas with weak wind speeds,” chief sales officer Patxi Landa said.

“This enables our customers to design their wind farms flexibly and optimally with regard to yield, operating life and noise emission requirements.”

The N163/5.X model will be presented at the Husum Wind Fair in northern Germany from September 10–13.

Compared to the recently launched N149/5.X model, the N163/5.X shows its strengths particularly on projects with lower wind speeds, Nordex said.

Nordex unveils 5MW-plus wind turbine as it posts 2018 loss

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While nacelle, gearbox and all system components have been taken over from the N149/5.X, the N163/5.X features a new, single-piece rotor blade with a length of nearly 80 metres. Like its predecessor model, it is made out of glass fibre and carbon fibre.

The larger rotor diameter results in a swept area of 20,867 square metres, which the OEM says means an additional yield of up to 20% for the new turbine.

It will be offered with hub heights of between 118 and 164 metres, and also have a cold climate version for operation in temperatures as low as -30°C.

Serial production is expected to start in 2021.

By then, the company also expects to have exited its loss-making period.

Nordex presented a widened half-year consolidated net loss of €55.4m ($61.9m), compared to a consolidated net loss of €41.7m in the first half of 2018.

Sales went up 3.5% to €990.8m in the period, but earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell by 55% to €17.1m.

The company pointed to its gross revenue – or total output – figure of €1.6bn, up 47% from 1.1bn reached in the year-earlier period. Nordex stressed that figure included services provided but not yet shown as sales, such as turbines manufactured, which reflects preparations made for a high installation volume expected during the second half.

“We are fully prepared for significantly higher activity levels in the second half of the year and confirm our guidance for 2019,” Nordex chief executive José Luis Blanco said.

“The transformation of our supply chain is also making progress. As already indicated, we will make additional investments in blade production to enable us to meet the higher than originally anticipated demand for the Delta4000 series and to support profitable growth in 2020 and beyond.”

Nordex in July had already announced a higher first half order intake, and now said it is planning to invest around €160m for all of 2019, primarily for additional rotor blade production capacity.

The company confirmed its guidance for 2019 of consolidated sales at €3.2-3.5bn, and an Ebitda margin of 3.0 to 5.0%.

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