Alstom starts turbine tower production in Brazil

BRAZIL: Alstom has officially opened a wind tower factory in southern Brazil with the capacity to build up to 120 steel towers a year.

Alstom ECO100 turbines

Sited at Canoas in Rio Grande do Sul state, the plant will supply towers for the nearby 108MW Corredor do Senandes wind energy complex, the first wind project undertaken by Brazilian power company Odebrecht Energia.

According to Alstom the new plant will employ 90 people and could generate a further 250 indirect jobs in the region.

This is Alstom's second wind factory in Brazil, following the commissioning of a nacelle plant in November 2011.

In February, Alstom won a EUR1 billion+ deal with Renova Energia to supply 1.2GW for projects in Brazil. The projects are in the state of Bahia and will use Alstom's ECO 100 3MW turbines, which will be delivered between 2015 and 2019.

Strict local content rules requiring three major components — out of blades, towers, hubs and nacelles — imposed by Brazil's National Development Bank (BNDES) in 2012 for project finance, are behind Alstom's manufacturing strategy.

"The geographical position of the plant allows us to be close to our customers and enables important interaction with other countries, such as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay," said Alstom Brazil president Marcos Costa at the plant's inauguration.