LM Wind Power will be looking for a suitable site location for a blade manufacturing facility on the coast of South Africa between Cape Town and the Port Elizabeth areas. The factory will be based on LM Wind Power's proven modular factory concept recently used for fast construction of its facilities in the USA, Poland, China and Brazil and could generate employment of up to 300 people once fully operational.
The South African government has indicated that it wants a wind market of about 5-600MW per year over the next two decades and it has recently launched tenders for several MW of renewable energy including wind. The auctions call for increased local content percentages that would benefit local production of major components like blades, which typically make up approximately 15% of the price of a turbine. Local manufacturing will provide more competitive wind energy as well as create new local jobs and knowledge opportunities combined with growth for local industries.
Søren Høffer, LM Wind Power VP Sales and Marketing, commented: “Many customers seek our support to their efforts in developing the market for wind energy in South Africa. We are pleased to make this announcement which confirms our commitment to help them succeed, using our technology and innovation to harness wind energy profitably and with maximum operational reliability and logistics savings. The development in South Africa coupled with increased local content requirements have the potential to drive the development of a local wind energy supply chain, which could ultimately lead to South Africa becoming a manufacturing hub for all of or part of the African continent. Political vision and commitment can make that scenario real. LM Wind Power aims to play a prominent role.”