Griffith, the president and chief executive of the Timken Company, said that Chinese wind turbine market is the largest growing market for the application of Timken’s industrial bearings. In a brief interview on Thursday, Griffith said that the company’s annual sales in China were about 50 million. And it will be doubled in 2011.
The CEO admitted that as to a company whose expected sales were about four billion$ in this year, its sales in China were relatively little. But he was confident in China’s wind power industry. He said that Asia accounted for 12% of the total proportion of global sales, with the largest share from China.
The Chinese government is promoting the clean energy to replace coal, hoping that the wind power capacity can reached 100 GW in 2020. This figure is more than eight times of that in 2008. Chinese companies dominate this market. The fierce competition between Chinese companies and the foreign companies pushes down the price of wind turbines.
Timken precision bearings are manufactured to make the smooth operation of heavy equipments such as the gear systems that are used in the high-speed rotation for the landing of aircraft. And bearing system that can be changed frequently is designed to reduce pressure; otherwise, the machine will be destroyed. Timken benefited a lot from Chinese government’s stimulus policies and heavy investments in infrastructure. In the latest annual report from this company, Griffith said that “Chinese market was open to us”.
However, China’s counterfeit bearings are also growing rapidly. World Bearing Association, which is partially funded by the Timken Company and is led by Griffith, revealed a report in August that more than one million counterfeit industrial bearings were found in two provinces in China.
Griffith also said that Chinese heavy equipment (such as mining trucks) manufacturers began to export products. And Timken is ready to response to this trend. For instance, the company has set an office in Jakarta because Indonesian people are buying Chinese equipments whose bearings will eventually need to be replaced.
Timken has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in China. It set a joint venture in the Xiangtan City (Hunan Province), which improved its capacity to produce large wind turbine bearings.