Acciona WindPower Brazil plant at full tilt as OEM plans for growth
Acciona's 3MW turbine will be produced at the plant
Production from Acciona WindPower’s new nacelle assembly plant in Brazil is fully allocated until the end of 2017 and plans are in place to double capacity at short notice, the Spanish wind OEM said today.
The 100-turbine a year plant currently runs two shifts but could quickly add more to ramp up to 200, said Acciona.
The new plant – which was officially opened today – will produce the 3MW AW 116/3000 and AW 125/3000 models, currently the biggest turbines assembled and sold in Brazil.
According to industry players, a 300MW capacity is sufficient to compete in Brazil's 2GW a year wind power market.
So far Acciona has sold just over 1,000 wind turbines in Brazil, giving it an approximate 6% market share of all projects contracted through 2019, when more than 17GW will be operational.
Announced in September 2013, the new plant is located in the town of Simões Filho in the northeast state of Bahia, integrating with its existing hub-assembly facility there, and close to sea ports and the industrial district of Camaçari, where many suppliers and competing turbine makers Gamesa and Alstom are located.
Total investment in the plant was R$23m ($7.7m) as Acciona aims to comply with stringent and complex local-content rules to access cheap BNDES financing for the sale of turbine to developers.
The regulation requires over 60% of components, and for machinery makers to have their own nacelle assembly unit in the country by key landmark deadlines, with full compliance being reached in January 2016.
As part of the national content programme, Acciona also operates a concrete tower facility further north in Rio Grande do Norte, close to the location of wind farms of many of its clients. The company taps a network of local suppliers including Brazilian blade maker Aeris Energy, located in Ceará state 1,000km away.
Although the new plant was officially opened today by Acciona Group CEO José Manuel Entrecanales and Bahia state governor Rui Costa, the 150 workers in the factory and the 500 indirect workers in components and other services suppliers have been working since the end of last year, when Acciona announced that it had already assembled turbines that met local-content requirements ahead of a 1 July deadline.
After opening the factory, Acciona now has 13% of total turbine production capacity in Brazil. GE and Alstom – whose local units merger has been approved by Brazil's antitrust body – Gamesa, Vestas, Wobben (Windpower) and WEG, all comply with BNDES' local-content rules.
Argentina's Impsa has a 400MW turbine factory that is idle, waiting for the conclusion of the sale of its Brazil assets under local bankruptcy proceedings.
Germany's Siemens and India's Suzlon, which don't have nacelle facilities meeting the 2013 local content rules, are expected to announce investments in new plants.