LM Wind Power (Kolding, Denmark), a leading independent manufacturer of composite rotor blades for wind turbines, confirmed iin early October its plans to expand its position in the Americas via construction of a new blade manufacturing facility in Brazil. The factory will be established in conjunction with LM Wind Power’s local joint venture partner Eólice and will deliver blades to wind farms in Brazil and throughout South America.
The location for LM Wind Power’s first factory in Brazil will be in the port of Suape, near Recife in the state of Pernambuco, which has been developed for the manufacture of wind energy equipment and components, and reportedly covers the entire value chain of the wind industry. LM officials say that the new factory, adjacent to a a world-class seaport with a strong local workforce, will be in a good position to serve major wind farms in the northeastern Brazil and beyond. The factory will be based on LM Wind Power's proven modular factory concept recently used for construction of its factories in the U.S. (Grand Forks, N.D.) and in Goleniów, Poland, and Tianjin, China. The LM/Eólice joint venture expects to employ as many as 300 people, and support more job creation in the local supply chain. Blade production could commence as early as September 2013, and agreements with customers reportedly have been finalized.
In addition to the agreements already signed, LM Wind Power says it is currently in advanced negotiations with a number of wind turbine manufacturers who have expressed a need for larger blades, ranging in length from 40m to 70m (131 ft to 230 ft), for future wind power auctions.
Leo Schot, LM's CEO, commented: “A number of strategic customers have asked LM Wind Power ... to support their efforts in developing the market for wind energy in Brazil and throughout Latin America. We are pleased to make this announcement which confirms our commitment to our customers, so that they can use our technology and innovation to harness wind energy profitably and with maximum operational reliability. We are also very happy to be working with a professional and engaged partner in Eólice, which will handle the infrastructure side of the venture.”