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Alstom completes upgrade of Tianjin hydro technology center

Alstom Tianjin

International hydro technology manufacture Alston has completed a US$133.5 million expansion of its manufacturing center in Tianjin, China, allowing the company to further increase its role in the growing Asian market.

Alstom said the upgrade was completed without interruption to the site's production, and includes a new industrial facility and new production area. In all, the Tianjin site now covers an area of 250,000 square meters and houses approximately 1,600 employees and 400 engineers.

The company said the new site features 19 heavy machines and two state-of-the-art gantries, allowing Alstom (ENX: ALO) to manufacture as many as 26 turbine and generator units per year. Energy efficiency was also an emphasis in the facility's design, with the new workshop representing an annual CO2 reduction of more than 10,000 tonnes, according to Alstom, due to a number of architectural and infrastructure considerations.

"The inauguration of the Tianjin site represents a key milestone for Alstom's development in the country," chairman and CEO Patrick Kron said. ""This world-class factory will allow us to accelerate Alstom's contribution to China's sustainable development."

The company said the Tianjin plant's major activities include research and development in mechanics and hydraulics, and electrical disciplines for hydropower turbines and generators. The site will also allow for scale model tests of Francis and Kaplan turbines. The site -- included by Alstom in its network of "global technology centers" -- will work particularly closely with its facility in Grenoble, France.

"The new site illustrates Alstom's commitment to bring our technology strengths and innovations to local customers," said Jerome Pecresse, president of Alstom's Renewable Power group. "Tianjin now offers a full hydropower value chain with a complete array of activities. It will play a pivotal role in the future growth of Alstom in China and the southeast Asia market."

Alstom's Tianjin facility has already produced parts for a number of Chinese projects -- most notably four 800 MW turbines for China's 6,400-MW Xiangjiaba project -- with strong hydropower growth within Asia anticipated.

According to China's 12th Five Year Program of Development, the country will have a total capacity of 260 GW of conventional hydropower and 30 GW of pumped-storage hydropower by 2015. Alstom said Laos has an additional 10 GW worth of potential, with Myanmar adding another 30 GW.

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