Brazilian Casa dos Ventos turn to GE for wind turbines

Casa dos Ventos will make a decision within two weeks whether to buy an additional 150MW of wind turbines, worth 525-million reais, from GE for a wind farm it may buy from Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona (Impsa) said two people.

General Electric (GE) plans to announce deals in coming weeks to sell wind turbines worth as much as 1.33-billion reais ($604m) to Brazilian developer Casa dos Ventos.

Casa dos Ventos is buying 230 megawatts (MW) of wind turbines for 805-million reais to replace a previous order with Enercon’s Wobben Windpower.

That deal depends on whether GE can guarantee delivery by next year, when the project needs to be operating under Impsa’s contract with Brazil’s government.

Impsa, based in Argentina, is selling assets in Brazil in a bid to cut debt.

Foreign producers that flocked to Brazil in the past decade are struggling to meet demand after the government required manufacturers to use locally made parts to qualify for the cheap loans that sustain the industry.

Brazil is counting on wind energy to account for 9.5% of installed capacity by 2022.

“The wind energy industry is facing problems” because of rules implemented by state development bank BNDES, Brazilian wind power association Abeeolica president Elbia Melo said. The group “has heard from some suppliers that are having difficulties in getting components and face delays in adopting the BNDES rules.”

GE and Casa dos Ventos declined to comment on the contracts.

The Casa dos Ventos orders would push GE’s Brazilian wind turbine factory to its maximum capacity next year and 2016, said one of the people. By the end of this year, GE will have installed 900 turbines, making it the number one supplier in Brazil, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Casa dos Ventos will be able to generate 600MW by 2018.