Shanghai Electric Group aims to more than triple sales of wind and nuclear power equipment over the next few years by investing 2 billion yuan (HK$2.27 billion) in production to offset falling orders from the coal-fired side of the industry. Projected sales of wind turbines were expected to exceed 10 billion yuan in the next three to five years, while those of nuclear island equipment would reach up to 6 billion yuan, company secretary Andrew Li Chung-kwong said. Nuclear conventional island sales are forecast to reach 3 billion yuan. The firm's wind equipment sales in the first half jumped 9.5 times year on year to 928 million yuan, with full-year sales projected to be between 2.5 billion yuan and 3 billion yuan. Nuclear island sales more than doubled to 906 million yuan. There have been no conventional island sales to date. To cut pollution, create jobs and enhance energy security, Beijing has bolstered policies to encourage clean energy production. The country's installed wind power generation capacity has at least doubled in each of the past four years. Beijing plans to lift it to 100 gigawatts by 2020, more than three times the target set in 2007 and eight times the 12.2 GW at the end of last year. It has also raised the targeted nuclear power capacity to 70 GW by 2020 from 40 GW set in 2005, from just under 10 GW last year. The rise of clean energy development is key for companies such as Shanghai Electric, whose new orders of the mainstay coal-fired power equipment have been falling since last year. It aims to have 50 billion yuan of new orders from coal-fired units for this year after booking 33 billion yuan in the first half, down from 75.6 billion yuan last year. Hefty start-up costs could mean lower profits or even losses in the nuclear segment, according to rival Harbin Power Equipment. However, Shanghai Electric chief financial officer Yu Yingui said its nuclear units' gross profit margins could reach 20 per cent in three to five years, exceeding the margins achieved with coal-fired equipment, which fell to 13.6 per cent in the first half from 19.5 per cent a year earlier. He expected margins of wind power units to reach 17 or 18 per cent in three to five years from 10 per cent currently. Shanghai Electric posted an 11 per cent year-on-year decline in first-half net profit to 1.37 billion yuan last Friday on lower gains on investments and lower profit from coal-fired units owing to the high cost of steel bought last year.