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French company opens its first wind factory in Brazil

Alstom announce that its 350MW wind tower factory is up and running in the south of Brazil

Correndor do Senandes wind complex, Brazil
The first major project the plant will produce towers for is the $174m Correndor do Senandes wind complex, also in Rio Grande do Sul.

A French energy firm has announced the opening of a new wind tower factory in Brazil.

France's Alstom said that the 10,000m high factory, located in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, will have the capacity to produce and hold 120 steel towers per year – enough to supply around 350MW of electricity.

The first major project the plant will produce towers for is the $174m Correndor do Senandes wind complex, also in Rio Grande do Sul. The wind complex, constructed by Odebrecht Energia – one of the biggest energy providers in the country – will have 108MW of installed capacity.

Alstom has another South American wind manufacturing plant in the Bahian state of Camacari, opened in November 2011, which has the capacity to produce 600MW of wind turbines a year.

The new plant forms part of Alstom's plans for continued expansion in South America. Marcos Costa, country president of Alstom Brazil, said: "The geographical position of the plant allows us to be close to our customers and enables important interaction with other countries such as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. We have a long and established history in the wind markets of Latin America, and we continue to invest in the region to meet its growing power needs.''

Another French firm, Voltalia, announced plans last month to open three 30MW wind farms in the north east of the country with construction beginning August 2013. Brazil has also had a growing focus on wind power, recently approving a $40.5m loan for five wind power projects in the northeast of the country, totalling 137MW.