WSJ Screws Suzlon

Indian windmill giant Suzlon Energy got buggered by the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) today.

In a hard-hitting piece, the WSJ story said Suzlon is encountering headwinds in India after its well publicised problems in the international market:

Suzlon Energy Ltd., the world’s fifth-largest wind- turbine maker by sales, is facing complaints in its home market of India over technical problems with turbines, only months after blades it sold to U.S. buyers began cracking.

Some of Suzlon Energy’s largest Indian customers say their turbines fail to generate anywhere near the amount of electricity expected, suffer from excessive vibrations during high winds and have control problems costing them millions of dollars in lost power revenue.

“The machines are not fit to handle the wind,” said Shrenik Baldota, managing director of MSPL Ltd., an Indian mining company and one of India’s largest investors in wind power.

For its part, Suzlon denied that its turbines are facing difficulties in the home market.

But the Journal story made it clear that all is not well in Suzlon country:

Suzlon’s order book is under pressure as large Western turbine makers’ sales backlogs are expanding. At the end of July, Suzlon’s U.S. order backlog was down 23% from a year earlier; its India backlog was down by 15%.

Suzlon’s PR office in Amsterdam was closed when we called and no one answered the Indian mobile number.

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