Vestas invests to boost Brazilian operations

The Danish wind turbine giant will invest up to € 32 million to increase capability to meet local content requirements.

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Vestas (Aarhus, Denmark) says it will refocus efforts on the Brazilian market by implementing a new roadmap for growth, including investment of up to € 32 million to ramp its Brazilian operations in order to meet local content requirements.

Vestas will localize 70 percent of hub and nacelle manufacturing for 2MW turbines at its facility near Fortaleza in the northeastern state of Ceará, allowing for production levels of more than 400 MW per year, with the potential for a maximum of up to 800 MW per year. Blade and tower production will also be sourced locally to comply with requirements.

“Brazil is one of the most competitive and fastest-growing markets in the world,” says Vestas’ Jean-Marc Lechene. “We are confident these investments will meet local content requirements and position Vestas as a key player in the Brazilian market.”
According to Dr. Elbia Melo, CEO of the Brazilian wind industry association ABEEolica, “the Brazilian auction system is bringing down the cost of energy, creating an attractive environment for foreign investment. The country opted wisely for a competitive energy market model for contracting renewable energy sources. We welcome and encourage the additional competition this investment brings.”

Vestas plans to transfer knowledge behind the state-of-the-art V110-2.0 MW turbine to the local Brazilian organisation by training employees in the best wind facilities in the world in Europe and the USA. Ruben Lazo, country president of Vestas Brazil, adds, “Vestas has a long track record in Brazil, having sold almost 1,000 MW. We will now work closely with our Brazilian partners to adapt our flexible market-leading solutions to their needs.”

Vestas says it aims to participate in Brazil’s upcoming auctions for projects throughout 2014. Given the planned increase in manufacturing output, the company expects to create up to 300 direct jobs in the country and an estimated 1,500 indirect jobs in the coming months, with the possibility of producing turbines for export to the rest of Latin America.