Media: Siemens Gamesa looks to delay turbine deliveries

As part of the extended investigation into the extensive failure rate, especially on the 5.X platform, the OEM is attempting to postpone the delivery of turbines by up to seven months.
Photo: Arise
Photo: Arise
BY MAZ PLECHINGER

On Monday, August 7, Siemens Gamesa is expected to announce news about its growing billion-dollar bill for faulty turbines. But while stakeholders only have to wait a week for the announced update, which will come in connection with the quarterly financial statements of the owner, Siemens Energy, some customers will have to wait a little longer.

The turbine manufacturer is trying to postpone the delivery of new turbines from the 5.X platform by up to seven months. This is according to anonymous sources told Bloomberg. 

The reason for the self-inflicted tripwire is said to be a hope to address the problems with the turbines ahead of time. Siemens Energy tells Bloomberg that it ”naturally” tries to eliminate potential problems before delivery and that in some cases this may cause minor delays.

Problems include 4.X turbines

The Germans have been quite clear that the problems are not minor in all cases. 

In June, Siemens Energy scrapped its guidance for the year as a consequence of the turbine manufacturer’s quality challenges being far greater than previously thought and likely to cost more than EUR 1 billion to fix. This is in addition to the many billions that Siemens Gamesa has already lost on 5.X projects.

But while the company has been open about the presence of failure rates - and that an internal review has revealed a far greater extent of these than expected - so far not much has been revealed about what is wrong. Last month, however, at least one of the suspected problems became concrete when a rotor blade on one of the new 6MW turbines at the large-scale Brazilian project Santo Agostinho broke.

According to a Bloomberg source, in addition to rotor blades, the internal investigation has also pointed to problems with a part of the turbine housing and the gearboxes. While generationally, this includes not only the 5.X but also the 4.X platform. 

Gearboxes have historically been isolated to the Gamesa technology turbines, while the Siemens Wind Power turbines have been without. However, in connection with the turbine manufacturer’s previous turnaround in 2018, it was decided to implement gears in all onshore turbines going forward, while offshore turbines remain gearless.

According to Bloomberg’s information, a main focus of Siemens Energy’s investigation is to find out to what extent the problems can be attributed to subcontractors and to what extent it is due to internal design flaws in the turbine. The company’s special committee set up to investigate the problems has reportedly begun recruiting external assistance as well.

(Correction: In the original article, it could seem as if last month’s wing failure at the Santo Agostinho park was related to the problems with the 5.X platform. However, this has not been confirmed by Siemens Gamesa. EnergyWatch apologizes.)

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