Athenry business shutting wind turbine production over regulatory logjam

Galway Daily news Plans in the works for northwest Galway wind farm

The Athenry based C&F Group is shutting down its multi-million wind turbine production division over regulatory hold ups in Japan.

Local businessman John Flaherty had invested €30 million into a wind turbine business selling smaller scale turbines.

The business was proving a success, with hundreds of orders coming in from customers in Japan, of which 400 have already been installed.

However the Irish Independent reports that the manufacturing division has now been shuttered after Japan rescinded C&F’s trading certificate over an installation issue.

John Flaherty said that they have been working with regulators in Japan to resolve the issue, but after little progress there were concerns about the viability of the business.

Its not expected that any jobs will be lost as a result of this closure, with the 15 to 20 employees affected likely to be moved to other divisions of the company.

The wind turbines C&F produced for Japanese customers were tested to ensure they could withstand earthquakes and 200km/hr typhoon winds.

C&F focused on wind turbine production in the range of 110kw to 250kw, so they could be used at smaller sites.

It was hoped that success in Japan would lead to growth in markets in the US, Australia, and the rest of Asia.

John Flaherty told the Irish Independent that said that wind turbine sales in Ireland had also been affected by the inability of owners to sell excess electricity back into the grid.

“Unfortunately, there has been a worldwide lack of appetite for sustaining feed-in-tariffs for small wind.”

The towers for these turbines were manufactured in Japan, while other components such as electronics in the turbine and nacellas were made in Galway and exported to where they needed to go.