The ASI has welcomed an investigation launched today by the new Australian Anti-dumping Commission into wind towers exported into Australia from China and Korea. The investigation responds to an application by the Australian wind tower industry from a group of local steel fabricators, known as the Australian Wind Tower Manufacturing Alliance. The application claims that Chinese and Korean manufacturers of utility scale wind towers have exported these goods at unfair prices designed to undercut local Australian manufacturers and cause the Australian industry ‘material’ economic injury. Utility scale wind towers are the steel structures designed to support the wind power turbines and blades used in commercial wind farm projects. They are significant steel structures which are often over 80 metres in height when assembled. To date, the Australian wind towers are manufactured from high quality Australian-made steel plate and a typical wind tower contains over 160 tonnes of steel. “Australian wind tower manufacturers regret that this course of action has had to be taken, but we wish to make it clear to all stakeholders in the wind industry that we have had no choice as these incidents of towers being dumped into the Australian market are currently destroying the local wind tower manufacturing industry,” said Steve Garner, spokesperson for the Alliance and General Manager of Australia’s largest wind tower manufacturer, Keppel Prince. “If this situation is allowed to continue it will destroy approximately 700 manufacturing jobs in the Australian clean energy sector and many more indirect jobs.” To date, one large wind tower manufacturer, RPG Australia has been wound up largely due to the impact of imported wind towers undercutting the local industry. The Australian wind tower industry used the services of the Australian Government-funded International Trade Remedies Advisor, an anti-dumping specialist employed by the Australian Industry Group. The ASI has recently been advocating to the Federal Government and Opposition to increase the number of Trade Remedies Advisors. There is currently only one person to cover all industries across the whole of Australia. The ASI has suggested that there should be at least five advisors to assist SMEs in the sometimes complex task of lodging anti-dumping claims. Notwithstanding the outcome of the forthcoming Federal Election, the renewable energy sector and the wind power industry is expected to grow significantly during the remainder of this decade due to bi-partisan support for renewable energy target (RET) legislation. “It will be disappointing for our economy if we do not capitalise on these opportunities to optimise Australian jobs growth across our manufacturing supply chain,” said ASI National Manager – Industry Development, Ian Cairns. “If local manufacturing does not benefit and grow from ongoing taxpayer support for the renewable energy sector it will become less and less relevant to Australian communities. “The ASI will be taking it up with the incumbent Government to extend the recent Jobs Bill legislation and the use of Australian Industry Participation Plans for all renewable energy projects.” Steve Edmunds, Managing Director of Haywards, a medium-sized enterprise manufacturing wind towers, acknowledged the pivotal role performed by the International Trade Remedies Advisor: “Without the technical advice and support of the Advisor, we would not have had the resources to prepare this application. Without his assistance, there is a risk that the entire Australian wind tower manufacturing industry would have collapsed,” Mr Edmunds said. The Anti-dumping Commission will now investigate the Australian industry’s claims with a recommendation to the Minister likely in the months ahead. If successful, the Australian wind tower industry will seek to enforce the retrospective imposition of duties on imported towers, following the Australian Government’s recent changes to Anti-dumping legislation.