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Brazil's wind newcomer WEG sees slow but steady growth

Brazil’s newest wind turbine maker expects to continue growing slowly as the economy picks up in 2013.

WEG, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electric and electronic equipment, announced its first turbine sale in September, for a 90MW wind farm to be built in the northeast of Brazil by 2016. It has not disclosed the buyer’s name.

The Brazilian group — which has a joint venture with Spanish turbine designer and manufacturer M Torres Olvega — will build the nacelles in Jaraguá do Sul, Santa Catarina state.

“This first contract shows we have a very competitive offer with good technology, made locally, that we can finance in local currency,” says Luís Fernando Oliveira, WEG’s investor relations manager.

“We believe we will gradually be able to increase our presence. This is a market that will continue growing — we will have new tenders in Brazil in the future.”

Federal power tenders, delayed four times this year, are expected to be held in December. One of them, the A-3, may yet be cancelled amid uncertainty about electricity demand and whether delayed fossil-fuel projects will be built.

WEG finance and investor relations officer Laurence Beltrão Gomes says Brazil’s economic policy and strategies to boost growth — including tax exemptions and cutting interest rates — will “combine to provide the conditions for better economic activity next year”.