German wind turbine provider Nordex has delayed its manufacturing debut into the US by about six months. Full production at a new facility in Jonesboro, Arkansas, has slipped from start up in January 2010 to July 2010. But the delay "does not bring along any disadvantages but only advantages," says the company's Felix Losada. The design phase of the facility took longer than expected, as did securing some parts of the local supply chain. Nordex is focusing on subcomponents that are already based in the US and the company is in the process of qualifying additional or alternative US suppliers. "In addition, this gives us more time to train the workforce. Finally, this also coincides with the necessity to act carefully with our positive liquidity to manoeuvre through the challenging year in 2009." Losada says that after the full localisation process, taking about two or three years, the company expects 70-80% of its turbines to be built from US components. Locating US gearboxes remains a challenge, he says, with only one US gearbox manufacturer supplying to the wind industry. The local content in a US wind farm is currently around 47%, with rotor blades and towers made locally. Nordex will focus on building two versions of its 2.5 MW turbine at the Arkansas facility.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol