Acciona opens Brazil tower factory

Spanish turbine manufacturer Acciona Windpower has opened its new concrete tower factory in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

The plant has created 400 jobs and will supply 101 120-metre towers in 2014 and 2015 for 303MW worth of projects being built by Voltalia. The projects use Acciona's 3MW AW3000 machine.

The facility was inaugurated by state governor Rosalba Ciarlini and Acciona Windpower chief executive José Luis Blanco. The 60,000-square-metres production plant produces concrete segments – curved parts assembled together to make up rings – that are placed on top of each other to create towers.

"The use of concrete for the production of wind turbine towers means that greater heights can be reached. It also facilitates local supply and manufacture, lower production costs and synergies with the process of laying the foundations for the wind turbines," Acciona Windpower says.

The company has been assembling turbine hubs in Bahia state since March 2013. In the second half of 2014, it will open a nacelle assembly plant in the same state. Its turbines are qualified for Finame local-content certification, which allows developers using its machines to access financing from the national development bank.

Acciona has won contracts for 423MW of capacity since it entered the Brazilian market in 2012 and is negotiating contracts for a further 363MW.