Brazil Windpower 2014: Vestas aims for 25% of Brazil's growing market

BRAZIL: Vestas hopes to achieve its target of 25% of the Brazilian market in three years by focusing on what Vestas Brazil president Ruben Lao believes is the quality of its products.

Ruben Lazo: Aggressive target to win 25% of Brazil market in three years
Ruben Lazo: Aggressive target to win 25% of Brazil market in three years

The company will offer its V110 2MW turbines to the market. "We will sell because, with 12,000 operating globally, these machines are proven. They are appropriate and robust to cope with Brazil’s medium wind with no turbulence."

Lao said Vestas is targeting its current international customers first, such as Enel, EDP and EDF. It will then go for the Brazilian companies that had bought from Vestas previously, and then developers.

The Danish-headquartered company has almost 700MW of turbine operating in the country already, covering about 14% of the market. But its involvement in Brazil stopped in 2011, as the company was forced to concentrate on restructuring in its main markets.

The timing coincided with Brazil’s introduction of strict local sourcing rules, which Vestas was unable to meet.

Now, Vestas is committed to complying with the FINAME regulations, and is building a new factory near its current production facility in Fortaleza in the north. This will enable production of 400MW a year, which can be expanded to 800MW, according to Lao.

The company is sourcing parts locally for hubs, nacelles and generators. It is negotiating with local blade producer, Aeris, to manufacture the blades using the Vestas mould from Denmark.

Local staff will also be hired. "We will recruit 600 employees. We have 30 technicians training in Spain. They will then go to the US and come to Brazil to educate," explained Lao.

The facility is due to be operating by the end of 2015, in time for the FINAME audit.

This week Vestas announced the completion of the 60MW Atlantic Euros project in Rio Grande do Norte. This is its last project secured before FINAME/BNDES local sourcing regulations, taking Vestas' installations in Brazil to 682MW. One 27MW private project to power the Honda motor company facilities in the south of the country remains to be completed.  

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