TIANJIN : Alstom, a leading power generator and locomotive producer, is making a big step to tap hydropower's rapid growth in the East Asia and Southeast Asia markets
China’s Xiangjiaba underground hydropower plant uses four units manufactured by Alstom. The company says the 800-megawatt units are the most powerful hydroelectric units in the world.
The company last week inaugurated a new facility in Tianjin, China, with an investment of 100 million euros (4.22 billion baht).
Jerome Pecresse, the president of the company's renewable power sector, said the facility includes a global technology centre that will enhance the company's competitiveness against regional peers.
"This will be our great springboard for business opportunities in this region for production, services and innovation in the hydropower sector," he said.
The centre will address research and development needs of the Asian market for all types of hydropower equipment. It is part of Alstom's global network, linking with its European teams.
Patrick Kron, the chairman and chief executive, said hydropower has huge potential throughout Asia.
Alstom has close partnerships with Chinese construction companies that have investments in projects on the Mekong River.
"We are closely monitoring this region, which is moving towards hydroelectric power. The region needs massive development of infrastructure," said Mr Kron.
The Southeast Asian market has long been dominated by European, Japanese and US power producers.
Alstom has accumulated a 20% market share of the Chinese-installed capacity of large hydropower equipment.
The region was the world's top source of hydroelectricity in 2009, producing more than 26% of world's total.
By 2035, Southeast Asians counties, particularly Laos and Myanmar, are expected to account for 85% of additional global capacity, Mr Kron said.
Despite a slowdown in some emerging markets, North America and Europe, the hydropower sector still enjoys annual growth of 5%.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, Alstom booked orders worth 23.8 billion euros, up by 10%, with sales edging up by 2% to 20.3 billion.
Alstom also plans to tap rising global demand for locomotives. In June, it supplied nearly 2,000 locomotives to projects in Shanghai and Nanjing.
It has a production hub in Changchun that manufactures diesel-run locomotives for high-speed trains.
In Thailand, Alstom won a contract worth US$305 million for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand's 850-megawatt North Bangkok power plant.
In the transport sector, it was awarded by Ch. Karnchang Plc a contract worth 14 million euros for the extension of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority's Green Line.
Alstom will participate in the design and building of tracks, a third-rail power collector and a train depot.
About the author
- Writer: Yuthana Praiwan
Position: Business Reporter