Alstom JV for Brazil tower plant

French wind manufacturer Alstom will produce turbine towers from a new factory in Brazil via a joint venture with local engineering and infrastructure group Andrade Gutierrez.

The JV, called TEN, will build the plant in the wind-power hotspot state of Bahia, northeast Brazil, at a cost of about €30m ($39.6m).

TEN will be 51% owned by Andrade Gutierrez, with Alstom holding the remainder.

The partners expect the plant to produce about 200 steel towers per year from the site in Jacobina, about 350km from state capital Salvador. The factory is due to begin operations by the end of this year.

The JV is the latest investment in the Brazilian supply chain by Alstom, which has significant orders in the South American country and has committed to meeting its demanding local-content regulations.

Most recently, in July Alstom secured another €320m order from Renova Energia for 355MW under a 1.5GW framework agreement with the developer.

Alstom already has two factories in Brazil – a nacelle plant, also in Bahia, and another tower facility in the southern Rio Grande do Sul state

Marcos Costa, country president of Alstom Brazil, said: “It’s very important to the local customers to have suppliers close to the wind farms. It can reduce the logistical costs, delivery time and guarantee the security in transporting this large kind of equipment. It can bring even more efficiency in the process.”

The onshore wind business of Alstom is due to pass to GE of the US under the terms of the acquisition deal hammered out between the two companies earlier this year.