Brazil extends local-content deadlines

Brazil's National Development Bank BNDES has announced a deadline waiver to parts of its local-content rules for wind turbines and components – apparently after listening to manufacturers’ pleas.

OEMs will have six months more to comply with elements of the local-content requirements, apart from a handful of exceptions where the previous schedule remains.

The deadline for the complete “nationalisation” of Brazil-made turbines has not changed, however, and is still set for January 2016.

Turbine-makers have to comply with the local-content rules if developers using their machines are to qualify for the best finance rates on offer from the development bank.

In a statement BNDES says that it has “been closely looking at the sector's development” since the bank set up the current local-content plan at the end of 2012.

Although BNDES states that the players are meeting the planned objectives set out by bank, it has also identified some potential supply gaps due to the failure of investments to be made in the volume and timescale necessary.

Because of this, BNDES decided to adjust the schedule.

Recharge understands that in reality the bank has accepted the demands of turbine makers that are struggling to develop a local supply-chain able to meet the strict deadlines previously set by the bank.

The deadline waver will apply to all criteria listed in the local-content methodology, except

*Final construction of a nacelle assembly plant, which is specified by July 2014

*Starting operations of that nacelle plant, specified by January 2015

*The final deadline of the plan, set for January 2016.

BNDES says: “Timeframe adjustments will not cause any problem to the development and nationalisation of the turbines. On contrary, the bank expects this decision to give an additional deadline for the companies to make viable their investments in the wind sector.”

The list of manufacturers to have thus far stayed in line with BNDES is Impsa of Argentina, GE, Gamesa, Alstom, Acciona and local Brazilian group WEG.

Others major players including Vestas and Siemens have yet to reach an accord with the bank.