OEM giants Siemens Gamesa and Vestas restarted work in their Spanish plants after an easing of the nation’s coronavirus lockdown.
Spain’s lifting of restrictions on manufacturing activity brought a welcome resumption of work in one of the global wind sector’s key production hubs after a sweeping shutdown was imposed at the end of March.
Spain-based Siemens Gamesa, which has some of its biggest factories in Spain, said the government’s announcement allowed it to restart work as normal after the Easter holidays. Some locations opened on Monday, while Aoiz, Asteasu, Mungia, Valencia, Cuenca and Reinosa will follow today.
A spokeswoman told Recharge the stringent coronavirus protection measures put in place will remain. These include “reinforcement of the cleaning systems, keeping distance between workers, reorganisation of the flows of entry and exit of workers, separation of shifts and taking temperature before entering a factory, among others”.
Vestas also said its Spanish operations will ramp back up again. Global head of communications Anders Riis told Recharge: “We are pleased to announce that our factory in Viveiro restarted full production on 13 April, with our factory in Daimiel at near full capacity. This is in alignment with the resumption of activities in the industrial and construction sectors in Spain. Our construction activity has also restarted or is in the process of restarting projects.
“We continue to implement the extraordinary safety measures we introduced since the outbreak first took hold in Spain, and will continue to uphold our commitment to these safety measures at the very least until the State of Alarm is lifted.”
The Spanish sector got a further boost when GE-owned blade-maker LM Wind Power confirmed to Recharge its factories there are also now operational again. “Over the past weeks, we have worked on a plan to ensure the safety of the work conditions at the site, which is our number one priority,” said a statement.
“The territorial labor office has certified the suitability of the safety plan and we have therefore reinitiated operations as of 10 April in Ponferrada and 13 April in Castellon. The situation with Covid-19 is constantly evolving, and we will adapt our plans as needed.”
However, another of the world’s key wind power production centres, India, remains on lockdown after measures were yesterday extended there. The Indian government said it would start looking at a partial easing of measures in certain regions on a case-by-case basis after 20 April.
Note: Update adds LM Wind Power comments