Suzlon Energy announces $25-million blade retrofit programme for its S88 turbines

Suzlon Energy Ltd has announced a retrofit programme to overcome the problem of the blades cracking during operations of some of its S88 turbines in the United States.

The retrofit programme involves the structural strengthening of 1,251 (417 sets) blades on S-88 (2.1 MW) turbines, of which 930 blades have already been installed while the remaining are either in transit or stocked as inventory.

"We have a close working relationship with our customers, and his programme is a proactive measure to safeguard the interest of all our stakeholders. The retrofit programme is designed to minimize impact for our customers and Suzlon," said Andre Horbach, CEO, Suzlon Group.

The retrofit programme will be carried out by maintaining a rolling stock of temporary replacement blades, to minimize the downtime for operational turbines, and will completed over a period of six months. The programme will utilize Suzlon's strong global technical capabilities and its blade manufacturing and service facility in Pipestone, Minnesota, for US Blades.

"The company, with its integrated global value chain and in-house blade design and manufacturing capabilities is well-equipped to resolve the issue within a short timeframe and in cost efficient manner. We are in close contact with all out customer and are keeping them fully informed of the progress. We expect no impact on the order and execution pipeline", Horbach added.

The total estimated cost of the retrofit programme is estimated at Rs100 crores ($25 million), for which a provision will be made in Q4 of FY08.