RNS Number : 7092W
Hansen Transmissions International
13 June 2008
Hansen reaches milestone of 20,000th
wind turbine gearbox
Minister-President Kris Peeters opens
expanded Hansen factory in Lommel
Lommel, Belgium, 13 June, 2008 - Yesterday, on 12 June 2008, Hansen Transmissions expanded factory in Lommel, Belgium was officially opened by Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters. The Minister-President also unveiled the recently obtained ISO 14001 environmental certificate and he assisted in the final assembly of Hansen's twenty-thousandth (20,000th) wind turbine gearbox. The investment in the Lommel factory expansion was around Euros €180 million where Hansen employs over 800 people.
Total investment of Euros €280 million in Lommel
Hansen Transmissions expanded factory in Lommel was officially opened by Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters. The full production capacity in Lommel now amounts to 6,000 Megawatt on a total built-on surface of 110,000 m2.
Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters commented: 'Hansen is a Flemish high-technology company with an impressive international success story. Over the past year, Hansen has achieved great results, with the expansion of the Lommel plant and the listing of its shares on the London Stock Exchange as notable highlights. Hansen's planned expansion projects in India and China are also impressive.'
In August 2002, Hansen began the construction of the Lommel factory in order to meet the growing demand for wind turbine gearboxes. Further expansion at its original factory in Edegem was ruled out given its proximity to a residential area. The fully integrated factory in Lommel, which then covered a surface of 45,000 m2 and involved an investment of Euros €100 million, was opened in 2004. Today, the expanded facility, for the production of multi-megawatt wind turbine gearboxes, is complete following an investment of a further Euros €180 million.
Ivan Brems, CEO of Hansen Transmissions, commented: 'Over the coming years, Europe will remain the largest market in the world for wind energy and this, plus the further growth of the international wind energy market, supports our strategic ambitions. Thanks to the unique location of the fully integrated production plant in Lommel and a team of more than 800 highly qualified and experienced employees, we are capable of meeting the various needs and quality demands of this fast-growing industry. Today, we supply four of the five largest turbine constructors and together, our clients represent over 60% of the market for gearbox-driven wind turbines.'
20,000th wind turbine gearbox
At the end of the seventies, Hansen began the production of wind turbine gearboxes. The growing need for energy - for example in China and India - the increasing awareness of global warming, the Kyoto protocol and the decreasing production costs for wind, the world's fastest-growing energy source, all mean that Hansen dedicates the majority of its gearbox production capacity to wind turbine gearboxes. Today, the twenty-thousandth (20,000th) wind turbine gearbox is standing on the assembly floor. It is destined for Vestas, Hansen's largest wind energy client.
Mr. Søren Husted, President of Vestas Nacelles A/S comments: 'Vestas and Hansen go back a long way. Our business relationship started in 1979 when Hansen supplied its first gearbox to Vestas. Since that time, we have seen both businesses grow dynamically and we have been able to develop our strong cooperation alongside this in an equally dynamic way. It gives me great pleasure to witness the assembly of Hansen's 20,000th gearbox today, which will soon reach its final destination, producing energy in one of our many wind turbines across the world.'
Over 800 employees in Lommel - and still growing fast
When the factory in Lommel opened in May 2004, it employed 193 people. Over the past four years that number has quadrupled to over 800 people. Today, Hansen is very actively looking for engineers for both the production departments and the R&D department. In addition, there is a constant need for CNC operators as well as additional resource within the quality department and the machine maintenance department.
ISO 14001 environmental certificate
Hansen's environmental care system in Lommel is certified by Lloyd's Register with the ISO 14001 norm. 'Hansen aspires to the highest standards when managing its impact on any form of pollution. Via an environmental management system, we address several issues in our company policy. Obtaining the ISO 14001 certificate is a recognised reward for the dedicated effort that Hansen has made,' said Stefan Lammens, Managing Director Business Unit Wind Energy. Decreasing general energy use, keeping an inventory of available raw materials, reducing the use of chemical agents, further dividing waste flows, and introducing a complete waste management system are just a few targets that have been included in Hansen's annual action plan.
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About Hansen Transmissions
Hansen Transmissions is an established global wind turbine gearbox and industrial gearbox designer, manufacturer and supplier, with a leading position (by MW supplied) in the wind turbine gearbox market. The company supplies gearboxes to four of the five largest manufacturers of gear-driven wind turbines globally and provides durable gear drives for a wide range of industrial applications throughout the world. Hansen plans to increase its wind turbine gearbox manufacturing capabilities, from 3,800 MW per annum in the financial year 2007 to 14,300 MW, by financial year 2012. In addition to its principal manufacturing facilities in Belgium - comprising a wind turbine and industrial gearbox plant at Edegem and a fully integrated state-of-the-art dedicated wind turbine gearbox manufacturing facility at Lommel - Hansen has a large new plant under construction in Coimbatore, India and has selected a 250,000 m² site in the Beichen Hi-tech Industrial park in Tianjin, China to construct a production plant for wind turbine gearboxes for the Chinese market. Hansen has strong research and development operations to maintain its technological leadership and employs more than 1,800 people worldwide.
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