Vestas has exported a first batch of 48 wind turbine blades from a new factory in Russia to the wind turbine manufacturer’s Danish home market, according to the Russian wind power industry association (RAWI).
“This event is important not only for the renewable energy sector, but also for our country’s economy as a whole… such projects also need to be replicated and we have supported and will continue to support the creation of high-tech industries in this area,” Russian deputy prime Yuri Borisov said.
The exports from Russian production come after Vestas increasingly is closing manufacturing in northern European countries with high labour costs, although the OEM said those cuts were carried out to meet the manufacturing requirements of its changing product portfolio.
Vestas Wednesday also stressed the export of the 42 blades from Russia are a one-off, and unrelated to job cuts in Germany and Denmark the OEM had announced last year.
"Vestas is pleased that we, together with our partner Rusnano and local industrial partners, now are fully fulfilling the mandatory export obligation in the special investment contract for the blade facility in Ulyanovsk by exporting these 48 blades," Vestas Northern and Central Europe president Nils de Baar said in a separate statement.
"This one-time export delivery is another major milestone for wind in Russia."
Vestas in late 2018 had opened its rotor blade plant in Russia’s Ulyanovsk region (owned to 51% by Vestas and 49% by local partners), where it said it will churn our 62-metre-long blades to be used for turbines with a capacity of 3.6, 3.8 or 4.2MW, RAWI said.
Borisov added that Russia will continue to support renewable energy also after 2024.
The wind industry is still anxiously waiting for the announcement by the government of a new support regime for the post-2024 period.
The oil and gas-rich country in 2013 had started to hold annual renewable tenders to reach 5.4GW in renewable energy capacity by 2024 (3.35GW of which will come from wind power), which is slated to represent 4.5% of its energy generation.
About 300MW of wind power capacity is currently being built across Russia, after 435MW have already been completed, RAWI said.