Bosch Rexroth is investing €180m (£162m) in its new wind-turbine gearbox plant in Nuremberg – an investment that is expected to fund operations up to 2013.
The facility is the second Bosch Rexroth manufacturing plant for large wind-turbine gearboxes in Germany.
‘With this new plant for the manufacture of large gearboxes, we are continuing our investments in the promising market for renewable energies,’ said Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch. ‘In the medium-to-long term, the wind-power market has good potential for growth and, even when times are difficult, we expand our activities in markets that offer a wealth of opportunities.’
The plant, which covers the surface of five football pitches, has the potential to manufacture 300 large gearboxes for the latest generation of multi-megawatt turbines in 2009.
The company acknowledged that business may be difficult in the short term as the worldwide recession takes its toll on the wind-power industry.
‘However, all the long-term forecasts continue to predict global growth for the wind-power market,’ said Reiner Leipold-Büttner, the executive board member responsible for engineering and manufacturing at Bosch Rexroth.
The US surpassed Germany as the leading country to install wind power in 2008. Bosch Rexroth believes that this is because of government incentive schemes for renewable energy in the US.
Bosch Rexroth claims that China and India are making larger efforts to expand wind power and are catching up with the West. The Global Wind Energy Council forecasts that installed wind-power output will triple by 2013.
The Bosch Rexroth Nuremberg facility will manufacture not only large gearboxes for wind turbines, but also external gear units for use in construction and agricultural machinery and fork-lift trucks.