Travels in China – Part 1

Published 29 July 2015

Our Head of Innovation Engineering, Peter MacDonald, is in China supporting UKTI events as part of a ‘Prosperity’ week. 

Here is the first instalment of Peter’s travel diary starting in Chengdu, a city of around five million people which is renowned as the home of the Giant Panda.

On Monday we visited Dongfang Electric – a huge heavy engineering company operating in the power generation sector. Dongfang’s activities reach across all of the main power generation sectors, including nuclear, fossil fuels and renewables.

Dongfang is a major player in the Chinese and global wind markets, with annual wind outputs placing them as one of the three major Chinese wind companies. Annually they produce an incredible 30GW of Electrical generation equipment.

We had a very successful meeting with senior management from the Dongfang Group, and particularly with the Vice President of Wind, in which we discussed offshore wind potential in both Europe and China. Our scheduled one-hour meeting drifted out to two and half hours as the conversation flourished, with the mutual interest of both companies being discussed in detail.

Dongfang was particularly impressed by ORE Catapult’s testing facilities and the structured certification process that underpins the wind sector in Europe.

Dongfang is currently focused on the onshore market in China which still presents huge opportunities for the 2 and 2.5MW DFIG machines that the company manufactures.  For the offshore market in China, Dongfang is developing a 4MW direct-drive machine which they expect to be ready for prototype testing in 2016.

All in all, it was a very successful meeting and it set a good baseline for UKTI and ORE Catapult to further develop areas of future collaboration.

I’m now boarding the high-speed train to our next destination, so I’ll sign off for now with speak later or 后来说话(Hòulái shuōhuà)…..