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Vestas wind of change revives defunct Aussie Ford factory

Danish OEM links with local group for production and test facility at former auto plant in Victoria

Vestas has boosted its production capabilities in Australia through a tie-up with a local engineering group in the state of Victoria that will help revive a defunct automotive plant.

The Danish wind group is partnering with Marand Precision Engineering to set up a manufacturing and test centre at a former Ford Motor plant in Geelong, which closed in 2016 when the automotive giant scaled back its Australian operations with the loss of thousands of jobs.

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The facility will produce drivetrains and hubs for 4MW turbines and test components for the 336MW Dundonnell and 181MW Berrybank wind farms, which Vestas is equipping in Victoria.

The Geelong centre is part of a wider Vestas initiative to set up a ‘renewable energy hub’ in Victoria, covering areas including service, training and logistics.

"Vestas is committed to building new skills in the local work force in Geelong, and with our wind turbine component assembly and testing capability, we are helping build on Geelong's background as a heavy manufacturing hub and use that to establish a renewable energy hub," said Clive Turton, Vestas Asia Pacific president.

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