India’s Suzlon enters SA power market

7 October 2010

India’s Suzlon Energy, the third-largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world in terms of market share, has announced that it is setting up an office in South Africa to explore local business opportunities.

Suzlon, including its German-based REpower subsidiary, was ranked as the world’s third leading wind turbine supplier – its products range from components to complete wind turbines – in terms of market share in 2009, with operations extending across Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South America.

It has also announced the appointment of Silas Zimu as chief executive officer of its local office. Zimu is the MD of City Power, the power utility owned by the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, until the end of October.

Suzlon Energy founder, chairman and MD Tulsi Tanti hailed the appointment, pointing out that with 19 years of experience in the South African power sector, Zimu’s experience was second to none, and that he also shared the company’s vision for a “greener tomorrow”.

“This announcement underscores our belief that South Africa has huge wind potential, along with our intention to play a major role in bringing that to fruition,” Tanti said in a statement this week. “We believe that wind power can help South Africa deliver the power the country needs, along with energy security required, and create thousands of green jobs.”

Embracing wind energy

According to the company, the potential energy generated from wind power is estimated to be 184 terawatt hours, and the South African Wind Energy Association believes that 25% of the country’s energy could be delivered by wind by 2025.

“My vision is clear: I want to see this great country of ours embracing wind for all the right reasons – closing the energy gap between what we generate currently and what we need, offering green electricity, creating many green jobs and enabling sustainability in the social, environmental and ecological spheres,” said Zimu.

He added that he believed that wind had a very important place in South Africa’s energy portfolio, and that he was delighted to now have a platform with Suzlon Energy to make that a reality.

Suzlon Energy is currently in the tendering process for more than 800 MW of wind power generation.

“I am thrilled to be joining the company I believe is the leader in wind generation, and I am confident Suzlon will play a major role in helping to revolutionise South Africa’s electricity sector,” Zimu said.

According to a Business Day article this week, Suzlon Energy might consider manufacturing some components in South Africa, depending on the number of orders it is able to win.

SAinfo reporter

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