IFC provides ? 11-million loan to India’s Gamesa Wind Energy

International Finance Corporation (IFC), has provided € 11-million loan to India’s Gamesa Wind Turbines to help build a wind turbine assembly facility that will help diversify the country’s energy-mix and reduce its greenhouse-gas footprint while addressing energy needs.

IFC’s loan will support Gamesa’s plans to scale-up its assembly wind power capacity in India over the next two-years. "Our project with Gamesa represents IFC’s first investment in a wind-turbine manufacturer in India and we are committed to supporting energy generation from renewable sources to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions," IFC director for manufacturing in Asia, Sergio Pimenta, said.

Gamesa, a subsidiary of Spain-based Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica is a global leader in wind energy technology. The company has more than 15 years of experience and 21,000 megawatts installed in 30 countries, with production facilities in China, India, Europe and the United States.

It designs, manufactures and installs wind turbines, as well as manages wind farm operation and maintenance services for close to 14,000 megawatts. Gamesa also develops, constructs, and sells wind farms. With 11 gigawatts of installed wind farm capacity, India is the fifth-largest wind power market in the world.

Since 2005, the country has seen a steady increase in wind farm installations. The new facility will produce cost-effective turbines suited to India’s grid and wind conditions. "The investment will help address India’s energy deficit and sustain its forecasted trajectory of economic growth," Pimenta said.

Gamesa, a global leader in wind turbine manufacturing and a top wind farm developer, continues to expand its presence in fast-growing markets, this time in India, where the company has announced that it will invest more than 60 million euros through 2012 to build new manufacturing plants.

Gamesa plans to open a turbine blade factory this year, with initial production capacity of 300 MW, and will localise production of its G9X-2.0 MW turbine in India in 2012.

The new factory, in northwest India’s Gujarat state, will make blades for the G5X-0.850 kW turbine. Furthermore, in future the facility may produce components for higher capacity machines, such as the G9X-2.0 MW.

Gamesa intends to open additional manufacturing plants in India in coming years to produce nacelles and towers (via joint ventures) at several locations in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu states.

As part of its strategy for cementing its Indian business with footholds in both manufacturing and technology, Gamesa has also inaugurated its first technology centre in the country, in Sholinganullar, in Chennai.

Gamesa plans to recruit a total of 100 engineers in 2011 as it conducts research and development (R&D) activities in India, though it may double that number in 2012. The tech centre will work closely with the local supply chain and collaborate with energy experts, universities and institutions to research and develop manufacturing materials and processes.

Gamesa in February 2010 began production at its first manufacturing site in India, in the area of Red Hills, adjacent the city of Chennai in southeast India. The facility, which makes Gamesa G58-850 kW turbines, was initially outfitted with annual production capacity of 200 MW.

However, the plant’s manufacturing capabilities were expanded more quickly than planned due to the need to meet sharp growth in demand. Said demand prompted the company to boost the factory’s assembly capacity to nearly 500 MW by the end of 2010.

Gamesa in 2010 sold turbine capacity totalling 196 MW to customers in India, which accounted for 8% of the corporation’s total sales. Meanwhile, the company expanded its workforce in India nearly fivefold, to more than 330 people (direct jobs).

Gamesa’s 2011-2013 Business Plan targets average annual sales growth of 166% in India (based on 2009-2013 guidance), with manufacturing capacity forecast to exceed 800 MW in 2013.