WEG aims for 20% of Brazil market

BRAZIL: Brazilian wind turbine newcomer WEG told Windpower Monthly it now has 651MW on its order books -- for models in the 2MW-2.3MW range -- and is aspiring to corner 20% of the Brazilian wind market.

WEG is licensed to manufacture NPS-designed machines

The target was set following an order to supply 2.1MW machines to the 98.7MW Santo Inacio project, Ceara state, north-east Brazil. 

Make Consulting senior analyst Brian Gaylord said the deal was "quite an achievement". 

WEG, founded in 1961 and long-since one of Brazil's top power equipment makers, became a wind turbine supplier in August 2013 through a technology transfer agreement with US manufacturer Northern Power Systems (NPS).

WEG now produces the AGW 110/2.1MW direct-drive, permanent magnet, full converter turbines from its Jaragua do Sul facility, next to group headquarters in Santa Catarina state, southern Brazil. The facility is also geared to produce 2MW, 2.2MW and 2.3MW versions of the same model.

The Santo Inacio project belongs to Alianca, a joint venture between two Brazilian firms — mining giant Vale (55%) and utility Cemig (45%). It is due to be commissioned in 2017.

WEG has already commissioned the 23.1MW Bons Ventos da Serra I project in Ceara and the 27.3MW Pitombeira project in Rio Grande do Sul, by developers Servtec and Eletrosul, respectively.

WEG also revealed it is now building the Aracati wind complex for developer Alupar, following its April 2014 order for 2.1MW machines.

Gaylord pointed out that NPS, while "quite successful" with its 100kW machine, has only erected two prototypes of its 2.1MW turbine. WEG's success, Gaylord suggested, is due to the company's strong reputation and its "vertically integrated manufacturing capabilities, responsible for driving down costs."

Referring to Brazil's strong constant warm and humid winds, a WEG spokesman claimed the turbine is "very competitive for Brazil's unique conditions".

The company is also finalising development of a 3.3MW, 130-metre rotor direct-drive turbine with utility Tractebel.