Suzlon fights to regain Brazil cheap finance deal

BRAZIL: Indian turbine manufacturer Suzlon is investing BRL 3 million ($1.5 million) to expand production in Brazilian facilities in a bid to regain its access to the country's cheap finance programme.

Suzlon: investing to regain cheap finance access
Suzlon: investing to regain cheap finance access

The investment will help the company to meet nationalisation conditions set by the national development bank BNDES for listing on its Finame financing programme. Under Finame, which is considered essential to operate in Brazil's competitive wind power environment, wind farm developers obtain the cheap financing to buy equipment if at least 60% of their value and components are made in Brazil.

Suzlon's Brazil manager, Arthur Lavieri, said the company had supplied all the information required by the bank to recover its listing in the Finame.

Lavieri hopes that BNDES' decision will come before October's auction in which Suzlon is in talks to supply up to 2GW in equipment and services for 78 of the 637 projects registered.

Suzlon has expanded production lines, installed machinery, invested to bring in molds for blades to be produced at a factory operated by Brazil's Aeris and hired local concrete tower producer CTZ.

The company has also made operational changes to fully assemble hubs in its factory. During the Brazil Windpower conference, Suzlon met with 40 local suppliers to sign new contracts as part of its efforts to convince the bank that is buying from local companies, said Lavieri.

Lavieri is now giving guarantees in new prospects that prices will be unchanged when Suzlon is accepted back to the Finame programme and is in talks to maintain contracts for around 400MW in projects that have been suspended since the delisting in April 2012.

"BNDES didn't say when it would decide, but it's urgent", he said.

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