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.