First of five EDP blade factories opened

Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates has officially opened the first of five factories being built in Viana do Castelo by the Eólicas de Portugal (EDP) wind consortium, a group comprising national utility EDP, Finerge, Generge, TP-Térmica Portuguesa and German turbine supplier Enercon, that was awarded 1200 MW of development rights under a government tender earlier this year. The EUR 35 million rotor blade factory is now fully operational and is the first part of the consortium's EUR 1.75 billion wind development spending plan to 2011. This will also see construction of factories for production of concrete towers, mechanical equipment, and turbine generators as well as an administrative and education centre, all due for completion by August 2008. Two additional factories will be located at Sever do Vouga (metal sections for concrete towers) and Braga (iron castings). Upon completion of the factories, the consortium will proceed with the construction of 48 wind farms with a total capacity of 1200 MW. Not all the factory production capacity will be used in Portugal, says EDP's Aníbal Fernandes. "More than 60% of the production will be exported."