Acciona opens ?25 million wind turbine blade manufacturing facility at Lumbier (Navarre, Spain)

The President of the Navarre Regional Government, Miguel Sanz, today opened Acciona’s new wind turbine blade manufacturing facility at Lumbier, representing an investment of 25 million euros.

The plant, which enhances the company’s presence in the entire wind power value chain, will produce 34-meter and 37.5 meter blades for the AW-1500 wind turbines, which uses Acciona Windpower technology. It is expected to reach full production capacity in September: 450 blades a year produced by a workforce of 148 employees.

The event, held at 12:00hrs CEST today, was also attended by the Vice-president and Treasury Minister of the Government of Navarre, Álvaro Miranda, and the Minister for Innovation, Business and Employment José María Roig; members of parliament on the sub-committee on Energy Strategy Analysis of Spain’s Congress of Deputies (national parliament), Carlos Salvador and María José Fernández Aguerri; and Sebastià Ruscalleda, a board member of the Spanish National Energy Commission.

Acciona Energy was represented by its President, Carmen Becerril, together with the General Manager of Acciona Windpower, Pedro Ruiz, and a strong turnout of executives and employees of the Acciona’s energy arm and all the staff of  Acciona Blades -the company which owns the plant- headed by the General Manager Alfredo Lecumberri. A number of representatives of Acciona Infrastructure, which built the plant, attended the ceremony as well.

The town of Lumbier was represented by its mayor, Javier Mauro Gogorcena, and mayors from other town councils in the area also attended.

Blades using in-house technology

The new plant occupies a constructed surface area of 12,000 m2 in the Lumbier Industrial Park. Its production capacity is 450 blades a year, using in-house technology for the AW-1500 wind turbines (1.5 MW capacity each), manufactured by Acciona Windpower at its plants in Barásoain (Navarre) and La Vall D’Uixó (Castellón), in Spain; and West Branch (Iowa, USA).

The facility has been designed for a possible future extension that will allow the manufacture of blades of up to 56.7 m. These will be installed on the 3 MW AW-3000 turbine, which is currently at the prototype stage.

Acciona Blades, a subsidiary of Acciona Windpower dedicated to the manufacture of blades for wind turbines, will gradually increase its workforce: from 64 employees in May 2010 to 90 at present, and to 148 by the end of September, when the plant will reach its full production capacity.

This increase in personnel stems from the Acciona’s recently-awarded contracts ACCIONA for three wind energy parks in Oaxaca (Mexico) with a total capacity of 306 MW. These wind farm plants will feature 204 AW-1500 wind turbines, for which the Lumbier plant will supply 240 blades.