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Hitachi to pull out of wind turbine production

Conglomerate will still offer maintenance as it rejiggers energy business

A small Japanese market coupled with stiff overseas competition prompted Hitachi's decision to stop making wind turbines.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Hitachi Ltd. said Friday it will withdraw from wind turbine production in the face of a small domestic market and fierce competition overseas with rivals such as Siemens AG of Germany.

Hitachi said although the company will continue to provide maintenance services to existing facilities, it will procure turbines from its German partner Enercon GmbH and focus on proposing optimum electric power control solutions.

A Hitachi plant in Ibaraki Prefecture has already stopped accepting new orders for wind turbines, a company official said.

The move is part of the Japanese technology conglomerate's review of overall energy business.

Hitachi said last week that it has suspended a 3 trillion yen ($27.3 billion) nuclear plant project in Britain and may abandon it completely unless a new financing scheme is introduced.

In December, Hitachi said it had agreed to purchase the power grid business of Swiss engineering group ABB Ltd., in a bid to strengthen its competitiveness in the power transmission business against rivals, including General Electric Co. and Siemens.

Hitachi also lowered the sales target of its renewable energy business involving solar and wind power for fiscal 2021 through March 2022 to 100 billion yen from the previous goal of 400 billion yen. Sales in the sector are expected to reach 80 billion yen in fiscal 2018, according to the company.

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