Ukraine Signs Wind Farm Deal with PowerChina that Would be Largest in Europe

On Octo­ber 30, state-owned Pow­erChi­na Cor­po­ra­tion signed a con­tract with the Ukrain­ian com­pa­ny, Wind­Farm, to con­struct an 800 MW wind farm in Ukraine’s Donet­sk region. The project is val­ued at $1 bil­lion and is expect­ed to become the largest onshore wind farm in Europe once com­plet­ed.

A com­mit­ment by Board Chair­man of the Ukrain­ian Wind Ener­gy Asso­ci­a­tion (UWEA), Andriy Konechenkov, to sat­is­fy local con­tent require­ments in the course of the Chi­nese deal is note­wor­thy, giv­en the Euro­pean Union’s ini­ti­a­tion last month of an anti-dump­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into Chi­nese steel imports for use on wind pow­er projects.  The probe began after the Euro­pean Wind Tow­er Asso­ci­a­tion claimed that there is sig­nif­i­cant evi­dence of dump­ing that ulti­mate­ly hurts Euro­pean sup­pli­ers’ com­pet­i­tive­ness.

Chi­nese man­u­fac­tures have faced sim­i­lar reg­u­la­to­ry scruti­ny on this issue in the con­text of wind tow­ers in oth­er mar­kets.  In Octo­ber 2020, for exam­ple, Mex­i­co imposed an anti-dump­ing quo­ta of 21% on the import of Chi­nese wind tow­ers.  In 2012, the U.S. gov­ern­ment imposed tar­iffs on Chi­nese wind tow­er man­u­fac­tur­ers after they were found to be sell­ing util­i­ty-scale com­po­nents at dump­ing mar­gins that hurt U.S. com­peti­tors.

It is not entire­ly clear if the recent invest­ment in Ukraine by Pow­erChi­na is part of an attempt to find a new mar­ket for China’s wind tow­er man­u­fac­tur­ers ahead of pos­si­ble export restric­tions, but the pos­si­bil­i­ty exists.