Alstom opens third factory in Brazil

BRAZIL: Alstom has teamed up with Brazilian infrastructure group Andrade Gutierrez to open a tower manufacturing plant in Bahia.

The Alstom tower factory in Bahia
The Alstom tower factory in Bahia

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The factory, which can produce up to 200 towers a year, will employ around 750 people. It is Alstom's third wind manufacturing plant in Brazil.

Under the deal, Andrade Gutierrez will take a 51% holding in the business, while Alstom will own a 49% stake. The total investment in the venture will be around €30 million.

Alstom's other plants include a nacelle factory in Bahia and another tower plant in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul. They were opened in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

Speaking to Windpower Monthly last year about the company's plans for Brazil, Pierre-Francoise Chenevier, senior vice president of Alstom Wind in Latin America, said production costs in Brazil remained an issue.

"Competition in the supply chain is important... We have contract obligations, which is not easy when you ramp up production. But it begins with on-time delivery of the supply chain," he said.

Last year, Brazil's national development bank, BNDES, approved Alstom under its local content rules for turbines, meaning projects featuring the company's machines can receive financing - a factor seen as essential if manufacturers are to offer their turbines at a competitive price.

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