Romax Technology and DHI-DCW Sign 5MW Wind Turbine Gearbox Contract

UK based engineering consultancy Romax Technology has entered into a new contract for 5MW wind turbine gearbox development and a progressive collaborative agreement with one of China's largest industrial machinery manufacturers DHI-DCW. The two agreements mark a significant development in the relationship between the two companies and their ambitions to play a leading role in the advancement of the Chinese wind energy industry.

Both the contract and agreement were signed, during a ceremony held at Romax head office in Nottingham, by Chairman of DHI-DCW Group, Mr. Jiajing Song, and Romax CEO Dr Peter Poon. The signing took place in the presence of the Member of Parliament for Nottingham South, Alan Simpson and Head of Trade Promotion from the Department of Energy and Climate Change's UK Renewables programme, John Buckley, and representatives of East Midlands Development Agency and UK Trade and Investment.

The event signifies an important progression for both companies and builds on a recent partnership that resulted in the design and manufacture of the gearbox for China's largest wind turbine - the 3MW Sinovel turbine, which has been installed in China's first offshore wind farm, just off the coast of Shanghai.

In the recent collaboration on the 3MW wind turbine gearbox, technical solutions provider, Romax, supplied full technical support including concept design, detailed design and optimisation, technology training, prototyping and test support as well as certification support. In turn, DHI-DCW Group provided its expertise in the manufacturing and testing of the prototype.

The result was a record-breaking 3MW gearbox that marked not only a significant achievement for Chinese wind energy but also signified the successful partnership between Romax and DHI-DCW. Supplying a key component to Sinovel is a great achievement, given Sinovel is China's largest wind turbine manufacturer and placed number seven in the global rankings. The 5MW wind turbine gearbox project will hold some similarities with the successful 3MW project, with both parties working more closely on the design and development phases.

In addition to the 5MW contract, the collaborative agreement will build on Romax and DHI-DCW's existing relationship to further develop their expertise in wind energy gearbox development. The two companies will maintain cooperation on the development of their 3MW gearbox in relation to certification and in-service monitoring. In addition, the agreement looks ahead to other possible areas of collaboration setting out a strategic partnership that will involve the two companies working on other potential projects.

It is anticipated that future collaborations will initially be focused on providing wind energy solutions into China. Following the Chinese government's ambitious targets for renewable energy in 2006 the wind energy market has experienced explosive growth and is currently classed as the second largest market in the world. The strength of this market combined with the expertise that Romax and DHI-DCW have in delivering gearboxes for large scale turbines, make this collaboration strategically significant for both companies.

Dr Peter Poon commented on the importance of the agreement and contract signings; "The success of the 3MW gearbox is testament to the strength of the partnership between DHI-DCW and Romax. The agreement and 5MW contract takes this as its foundation and looks ahead to a bright future for both companies - enabling DHI-DCW to secure its place as a key supplier to the flourishing global wind energy industry and strengthening Romax's position as the leading consultancy for the design and analysis of drivetrain systems."

DHI-DCW Chairman, Mr. Jiajing Song commented, "We are delighted to be signing the 5MW contract and collaborative agreement and are exceptionally pleased with the results of this successful relationship. With DHI-DCW as the number one producer of 1.5MW gearboxes in China and Romax as a world leading drivetrain consultant experience in gearbox design and our collaboration is expected to have a great impact on the development of the wind energy sector."

MP for Nottingham South, Alan Simpson, who has recently been appointed as a special advisor to the government on Renewable Energy, has supported the continuing development of Romax and has great expectations for the success of this new endeavour. "As the UK and China both strive to meet their targets for renewable energy generation, it is apt for us to be celebrating a union between Romax and DHI-DCW which is aimed at deploying the wind energy technology that will assist in those targets being met. The collaboration also strikes a chord locally as we in Nottingham look to expand our own renewable energy capability, with plans to establish our own community owned large scale turbine in the city. As we, in Nottingham, in the UK and across the globe find the courage to race towards a new future, it is organisations like Romax and DHI-DCW that have the expertise to ensure that the low carbon future we envision will become a reality."

John Buckley of UK Renewables, the Department for Energy and Climate Change's renewable energy trade promotion service, commented "It has been a pleasure to work with Romax through the rapid development of their wind energy business and to witness some of their successes. UK renewable energy targets suggest that we will need to deploy some 30,000 MW in the coming decade. This is a major undertaking for the UK, and one that calls for serious international collaborations; such as the successful and continuing partnership between the wind energy specialists DHI-DCW and Romax."