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Spanish wind power giant meets Brazilian rules for local turbine manufacturing

Gamesa reinforces its strategic commitment to Brazil in meeting nation’s new local content requirements for wind turbines

The BNDES has certified that Gamesa meets the new requirements for manufacturing wind turbines in Brazil

Spanish wind power giant Gamesa has announced it has met the Brazilian rules for local manufacturing in the BRIC country. The company has accredited the new local content requirements established earlier this year by Banco Nacional de Desarrollo Económico y Social (BNDES) for foreign companies operating in Brazil. Just one other company has met these requirements to date.

The new regulation, compliance with which is a prerequisite for qualifying for the BNDES's financing lines, tightens the local content registration and accreditation stipulations for wind turbines made in Brazil, requiring gradually higher percentages of local equipment parts between now and 2016.

Until now, the BNDES's criteria had been strictly financial: 60 per cent of the total investment had to materialise in Brazil. However, since January 2013, turbine makers have to meet the staggered 'manufacturing phases' established by the bank, which will be stepped up every six months until 2016. Initial certification requires the local production of three of the following wind turbine parts: tower, blade, hub and nacelle.

The BNDES has certified that Gamesa meets these new requirements: the company has a nacelle and hub assembly plant in Camaçari (Bahía state), since 2011, and it is working with local suppliers on the manufacture of its towers (Torrebras, Engebasa and ICEC/SCS) and blades (Tecsis).

Edgard Corrochano, Gamesa's regional director for the Southern Cone Region, said: "Brazil is one of our priority markets for the short and medium term. Our strategy for consolidating the company as one of the leading turbine makers in Brazil is underpinned by the combination of our global technological prowess with local know-how and our commitment to community development, creating jobs and generating wealth by purchasing and allying with local suppliers."

Wind contracts to supply 900MW in Brazil

Since Gamesa began on-the-ground production in Brazil almost two years ago, it has rapidly consolidated its position in the Latin American giant, securing contracts encompassing the supply of more than 900MW of capacity in the country's top three wind-rich regions: Ceará, Bahía and Río Grande do Sul. At year-end 2012, Gamesa had installed 96MW of capacity in Brazil.

The news from Gamesa follows other EU firms focussing on developing the wind power sectors of their businesses in Brazil this year. This includes Finnish marine power solutions firm Wärtsilä, which announced it will set up a EUR 20m manufacturing facility to develop technology for offshore wind vessels in the BRIC country in March.