Alstom opens technology center in Shanghai

Updated: 2011-03-22 17:36

By Wang Ying (China Daily)

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SHANGHAI - Alstom Grid, a division of Alstom SA of France, opened its China Technology Center in Shanghai on Friday to focus on the provision of strong and smart electrical grids.

Alstom is one of the largest global companies in power generation, transmission and railway infrastructure.

The move underlines the company's desire to increase its presence in the Chinese market, which is likely to have great potential for infrastructure-equipment makers during the next five years.

The facility, located in Shanghai's Caohejing Pujiang High-tech Park, will focus on the development of ultra-high-voltage alternating current (UHVAC) and ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission equipment and energy management.

With an investment of 47 million euros ($66 million), the facility is designed to accommodate large-scale electrical equipment, with a UHV testing hall and research and development (R&D) platforms such as simulation tools, a climate chamber, and a temperature-testing lab.

Patrick Kron, Alstom's chairman and chief executive officer, said he believes China's increased spending during the nation's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) will provide great opportunities for the company.

The center will further increase Alstom Grid's presence in China and deepen its cooperation with Chinese educational establishments such as Tsinghua University in Beijing, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

China's largest power-grid carrier, the State Grid Corporation, plans to invest 1.7 trillion yuan ($259 billion) in power-grid construction during the next five years. It also aims to complete construction of a strong smart grid by 2015, the company's general manager Liu Zhengya was quoted as saying by the Xinhua News Agency in late 2010.

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"The opening of this center is a key strategic move for Alstom Grid. We already have a strong localized manufacturing base in China, but we are taking the next step by further developing our local R&D skills and testing facilities," said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, the president of Alstom Grid.

"Not only will we better serve our customers, but we are also committed to helping China in its plans to develop its strong and smart grid by 2020 and to move to the highest voltages, 1,200 kilovolts (kv) in alternating current and 1,100 kv in direct current," he added.

China is expected to account for 18 percent of the global transmission market in 2011, worth $8 billion, according to Poupart-Lafarge.

The facility, which has an area of 54,000 square meters, employs some 120 engineers, a number of whom have spent research time in the company's units in Europe and the United States.


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