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Finnish firm to set up €20m plant in Brazil to manufacture tech for offshore wind vessels

Wärtsilä manufacturing plant to assemble and test engine and propulsion technology to meet growing demand in Brazil’s offshore wind sector

The plant will develop and deliver equipment used by the offshore wind power industry such as for turbine installation vessels

Finnish marine power solutions firm Wärtsilä is to set up a EUR 20m manufacturing facility in Brazil to develop technology for offshore wind vessels. The company has said it is developing the fully-owned facility to meet the BRIC country’s increasing market demand in the offshore industry, particularly offshore wind.

The manufacturing premises will be based on a multi-product factory concept to assemble and test Wärtsilä engine and propulsion technology. The company said, in the initial phase, activities will focus on medium sized, medium speed generating sets and steerable thrusters, with the possibility to flexibly expand the product range to respond to market needs. Wärtsilä’s investment in the new facilities is approximately EUR 20m.

Lars Hellberg, president powertech and executive vice president, said: “We are closely offering and delivering equipment used by the wind power industry. The plant is in the first stage for the fast growing offshore business and strong regulations for localisation of manufacturing.
“The plant will assembly engine gensets from our global portfolio and propulsion equipment. Applications are wide today and customer special requests are continuously discussed and engineered,” he added.

Hellberg could not confirm what type of offshore wind vessels the technology manufactured at the plant will be used for. Nor the size of turbines that vessel teams will work with.  

The new manufacturing plant will be located some 300km north of Rio de Janeiro in the Açu Superport Industrial Complex. The construction of the 4000sqm, with its own waterfront and quay, will commence in April 2013 and it is scheduled to be fully operational by mid 2014. The new delivery centre is expected to employ close to 100 people.

The news from Wärtsilä marks the latest EU-BRIC announcement to develop technology for offshore wind vessels. In March 2012, Denmark wind installation firm A2SEA joined up with Chinese ship developer COSCO Shipyard Group to construct a vessel to deploy offshore wind turbines.