Vestas will build a new nacelle and hub assembly factory in Chennai that will serve India and a growing regional market, said the Danish onshore wind giant.
The new plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu will combine two existing facilities there “creating an expanded, optimised and scalable production hub with four times as many local manufacturing jobs in the state,” said Vestas.
Vestas Asia-Pacific president Clive Turton said: “By building this expanded production facility, we will serve our customers’ needs in one of our key markets even better and generate hundreds of local jobs, while also improve our global manufacturing footprint and increase our export capabilities from India with the aim of making it a global renewable energy manufacturing hub.”
The new factory is due to be up and running by the end of 2020, adding to Vestas’s existing Indian plants, which already employ a total of 3,400 across facilities including a blade plant in Ahmedabad.
Like all global turbine OEMs, Vestas sees India as a key market as the nation pursues ambitious wind and solar targets of 60GW and 100GW by 2022, and a recently announced goal of 500GW of renewable energy by 2030.
In wind’s case the 2022 target means roughly doubling the existing base, and the country is engaged in a series of gigawatt-scale auctions to drive deployment over the next few years – although these have not always gone to plan, with grid and land acquisition issues among the factors causing headaches.
Vestas delivered 103MW in India the first quarter of 2019 and 543MW in the whole of 2018.
Vestas has enjoyed renewed momentum in India over the last two years after reentering the market, following a initial foray earlier in the decade that was derailed by legal issues. That left it playing catch-up to rival Siemens Gamesa, which had carved out a leading position before an abrupt switch from subsidies to competitive procurement brought the entire market to a juddering halt.
Reports earlier this year suggested Vestas had tabled a bid to buy a majority stake in local wind power champion Suzlon – which the Danish group did not confirm or deny – before negotiations broke down over valuation,