Petrobras and WEG partner to develop wind turbines in Brazil

Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras (PETR4.SA) and motor maker WEG SA (WEGE3.SA) on Tuesday said they were partnering to develop the most powerful wind turbine made in the country.

Petrobras will invest 130 million reais ($26.8 million) over the next 25 months in a 7-megawatt (MW) onshore wind turbine, already under development by WEG, the motor maker said in a securities filing.

The investment underscores a fresh commitment at Petrobras to develop renewable energies in the country, even as the company ramps up production from vast offshore oil fields.

WEG, a major supplier to Brazil’s wind power industry, previously developed a 4.2 MW turbine in partnership with Engie Brasil Energia (EGIE3.SA).

The Petrobras investment is a boost for Brazil’s wind power industry, which has seen a drop in domestic turbine production as GE and Siemens Energy have suspended manufacturing in the country.

The partnership with WEG includes the development of components for the turbine, which is expected to enter serial production in 2025.

Petrobras called the deal an “important milestone” that will improve its grasp of wind power technology as the country prepares to develop its first offshore wind farms.

Offshore wind farms typically require larger turbines generating 10 MW or more, requiring a shift in a Brazilian supply chain now focused on production of onshore components.

On Tuesday, Petrobras’ head of energy transition Mauricio Tolmasquim said the firm was evaluating partnerships for greenfield projects and possible mergers and acquisitions, as it looks to boost its green energy projects.

Leticia Fucuchima, Reuters