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Brazilian production bases set to lead expansion

LATIN AMERICA: We detail the most up-to-date data for Latin America's installed and upcoming wind power capacity, country by country. Measured against our map of turbine production facilities shows a need for more factories or improvement in transport infrastructures.

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European and North American wind turbine manufacturers may not be entirely happy about Brazil's strict local-content requirements, but they recognise that it is the only way to gain access to one of the world's fastest-growing markets. From very small beginnings, Brazil has now developed a substantial manufacturing base that will increasingly serve as the production hub for the rest of Latin America, supplying the hardware for future wind projects in nascent markets such as Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela and Panama.

The biggest obstacle to wind power development in the region remains the relatively poor state of its transport infrastructure.

Brazil is building an increasing number of towers, nacelles and blades, and those core components are growing in size and weight with the trend towards larger, more powerful turbines. Moving them from the cluster of factories established in the eastern states of Bahia and Ceara to project sites in the under-developed north and inland areas of the country is a complex and time-consuming business. Better roads and more railways are badly needed for the country to fulfil its undoubted potential.

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