Vestas establishes its first wind energy assembly facility in Brazil

Vestas officially announces the establishment of its first assembly wind turbines facility and a new operations cluster in Brazil, both to be located in a brand-new facility of 10,000 square meters, including building and land, in Fortaleza in the State of Ceara. The investment is included in Vestas’ CAPEX program for 2011.

The new assembly facility will be dedicated to assembly of nacelles. The wind power assembly facility is expected to start operations in Q4 2011 to satisfy the needs of the wind farm project pipeline in Brazil. When fully operational, the wind turbines facility will have an annual production capacity of approx 400 nacelles of the V90 and V100 wind turbine type representing an initially estimated annual capacity of 800 MW.

Vestas will also establish a new operations cluster consisting of three centres dedicated to service and maintenance activities, training, as well as spare parts and supply chain activities.

The new Service Centre will manage all service and maintenance operations to ensure optimal performance of the company’s installed wind power plants in the region.

At the new Training Centre, Vestas technicians will undergo continuous rigorous training in all wind turbines types commercialized in the Brazilian wind farm market to ensure that they have the most advanced knowledge and experience of Vestas’ latest products, solutions and working procedures. Moreover, technicians will be regularly updated on how to operate under the “Safety First” principles followed in Vestas.

The new Supply Chain and Spare Parts Centre will house and handle all spare part deliveries to the wind farms in the region to ensure smooth and on-time service and maintenance of our turbines.

Vestas in Brazil is developing a strong network of local suppliers which can deliver main components, products, spare parts and services for the manufacturing and operations of the company’s wind turbines in the country. This is the first major milestone of a larger industrial plan which Vestas is working on to develop a top-class local value chain in Brazil. Vestas’ overall industrial plan in Brazil goes in line with the company’s ‘in the region – for the region’ approach helping to develop strong local competencies and creating new local jobs, while being closer to the customers and offering them a better service and support.

Having been operating in Brazil for a decade, Vestas established a new sales office in Sao Paulo in 2008 to handle all sales, construction and service operations in the country. As of 31 December 2010, Vestas has delivered to the Brazilian wind farm market a total capacity of 204 MW and since 1 January 2011 until now, Vestas has announced orders for new capacity for 380 MW taking the current total capacity of announced firm and unconditional orders in Brazil to more than 600 MW.

The establishment of the first Vestas nacelle assembly facility in Brazil and the new operations cluster is a strategic decision to directly support the development of wind power in Brazil in the short and medium term, as well as to actively contribute to the achievement of Vestas’ overall strategic business goals.

Juan Araluce, President of Vestas Mediterranean, states: “The establishment of our first production facility and the new operations cluster in Brazil gives Vestas a substantial capability and a clear competitive advantage to address the growing needs of our customers and key stakeholders in the region. We believe that this will improve our positioning in Brazil and increase our contribution to the development of the Brazilian wind energy industry.”

“We are confident that we have a good infrastructure and qualified workforce for our first nacelle assembly facility in Brazil,” says Søren Lomholt Husted, President of Vestas Nacelles and continues: “The local authorities have shown strong commitment towards making this project a reality and we look forward to continuing our good relationship during and after the establishment of the facility.”

Marcelo Anton Pegler Hutschinski, Sales Director of Vestas Brazil, concludes: “In the past months, we have been actively recruiting and hiring new employees in Vestas and we will continue supporting the development of local jobs in the near future. Brazil, in general, counts with highly qualified employees from other manufacturing industries which can bring valuable expertise and experience to Vestas; this is translated into a win-win for our company and the local communities.”

Having reached a total wind farm installed base of 1,000 MW, wind power represents today only one per cent of all installed energy capacity in Brazil. The Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy presented in June this year a 10-year energy plan, in which wind has been targeted for the greatest growth rate over the next decade with the ultimate goal of reaching around 12,000 MW by 2020 – representing approx 7 per cent of Brazil’s total installed energy base. After PROINFA and two auctions in December 2009 and August 2010 for wind energy projects for a total capacity of 5,200 MW, on 17-18 August 2011, project awards will be assigned for the development of additional new wind farm capacity.