AMSC China Established To Serve Asia-Pacific Wind Energy, Power Grid & Industrial Markets

November 04, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

American Superconductor Corp. announced that it has formed a new division known as AMSC China to serve the growing wind energy, power grid and industrial markets in China. The company recently received an enterprise business license from the Chinese government to form a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise in Suzhou National New and Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone (SND), located 80 kilometers west of Shanghai. The business license allows for domestic manufacturing and sales of AMSC’s proprietary power electronics and superconductor products. AMSC also has expanded its sales and field service office in Beijing to support and grow its business in China and the broader Asia-Pacific region.

AMSC’s PowerModule product is a programmable, scalable power converter that utilizes a proprietary printed circuit board design, which allows the use of standard electronic manufacturing techniques for consistent, automated product assembly. It is one of the core electrical components AMSC is selling to wind turbine manufacturers in China and the Asia-Pacific region.

Since introducing the PowerModule product in 2004, AMSC has produced and shipped more than 1,500 of these units from its Wisconsin operations. A majority of AMSC’s PowerModule converters are being sold in China today. To satisfy increasing demand, AMSC is supplementing its Wisconsin operations by establishing manufacturing operations in the SND industrial park, which is also home to many of the component vendors needed for its PowerModule power converters.

AMSC reported that it has received an initial order for wind turbine electrical systems from a second Chinese turbine manufacturer – Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Research Institute (ZELRI). ZELRI will install these systems in the first 10 wind turbines rated at 1.65MW it expects to produce under a license it purchased from AMSC’s Windtec division in January 2007.

AMSC said it expects to expand sales of its products beyond the wind energy market in the Asia-Pacific region. In the industrial sector, the company recently announced that a semiconductor chip manufacturer placed an order for AMSC’s PQ-IVR system for one of its large wafer fabrication facilities in Southeast Asia.

In the electric utility market, AMSC formed a strategic business alliance with Shanghai Electric Cable Research Institute (SECRI), which is one of two Chinese entities that certify all new power cable technology for China. This alliance is aimed at developing and promoting the use of high temperature superconductor (HTS) power cables in China to help transmit and distribute increasing quantities of electric power needed to support the growing Chinese economy.