Alstom Renewable Power, Alstom's division in charge of renewable power generation equipment and services, plans to establish a Global Technology Centre in Tianjin, China, as part of its $126.6 million investment announced in November 2010 to upgrade Tianjin's hydro industrial facility and support its hydro business growth in China.
With the addition of the new GTC to Tianjin facility, Alstom Hydro China will become a full value chain entity with a wide array of activities, ranging from R&D, sales & marketing, engineering design, sourcing, manufacturing, project management, installation maintenance and service.
Tianjin technical center will adopt the common platform for product development in use across all Alstom's Hydro R&D facilities around the world. Through effective international collaboration and with the support of local service centers in 100 countries, the Tianjin GTC will be able to better meet the needs of Chinese and global markets and to develop local R&D expertise.
Combining global experts and skilled local engineers, the new GTC has already started its R&D activities, which include hydraulic, mechanical and electrical research and development and turbine scale model tests. An additional laboratory with a test stand, enabling the model testing of hydraulic designs for Francis and Kaplan turbines is scheduled to enter operation in summer 2013.
China is the largest hydro market in the world. According to Chinese government estimates, the Chinese hydro market is expected to grow by over 65 percent from 2011 to 2020 to reach an installed capacity of 380 GW — the equivalent of about 17 Three Gorges hydroelectric plants. By the end of 2015, China's production of hydroelectricity is expected to reach 910 billion kWh, hydropower being the highest priority source of renewable energy in the country.
Alstom is a supplier of hydropower generation equipment and systems in China with around a 20 percent share of the Chinese large hydro equipment market. The company has been supporting the development of China's hydropower industry ever since the establishment of Tianjin Alstom Hydro, Alstom's first manufacturing site in China, 17 years ago.
Alstom has directly contributed to many of China's major hydro projects, such as the world's largest power plant, Three Gorges (14 x 700 MW units), Li Yuan (4 x 600 MW units) and Xiangjiaba (4 x 800 MW units). With over 800 MW, the turbines designed, engineered and installed by Alstom for Xianjiaba are the world's largest hydro turbines ever designed and manufactured to date.