The Timken Company today announced that its new joint venture, Timken XEMC (Hunan) Bearings Co., Ltd., broke ground on a new wind energy plant to be built in China. Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (XEMC) is the other entity which is part of the joint-venture. The new company will produce ultra-large-bore bearings for large scale wind turbines, using advanced technology to help China meet its growing demand for alternative energy.
As originally announced in December 2007, the new $38 million facility will be located in the city of Xiangtan in China’s Hunan province to manufacture high-performance bearings for the main shafts of wind turbines. Renewable energy is an emerging technology where bearings can play a significant role in improving reliability. Timken’s alloy steel expertise, power-transmission design and precision manufacturing capabilities combined with XEMC‘s leadership position in Chinese heavy equipment manufacturing are well-positioned for China’s rapidly growing wind energy industry. The joint venture is expected eventually to employ more than 100 people.
“We are proud of our collaboration with XEMC,” said Timken Chairman Ward J. Timken, Jr., who was present in Xiangtan for the groundbreaking ceremony. “We look forward to bringing more than a century of power-transmission and materials expertise to this joint venture as we collaborate to meet sustainable energy needs in the 21st century.”
Timken holds an 80-percent ownership stake in the joint venture with XEMC. Bearings produced at the facility are destined solely for the China region and are expected to be available in 2010.
Last week, Timken announced it also will expand production at its Tyger River facility in Union, South Carolina by shifting existing capacity to make ultra-large-bore bearings to serve committed demand from wind-turbine manufacturers in North America.
Timken supplies a broad range of friction-management and power-transmission solutions to wind-energy markets including cylindrical, integrated flexpin and large-diameter tapered bearings, as well as high-quality alloy steel components.