LM Wind Power announces site search for expansion in South Africa

25. September 2013

Leading blade supplier to the wind industry, LM Wind Power, today confirmed its intentions to expand its manufacturing base to the African continent.

In 2011, LM Wind Power signed a cooperation agreement with Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to jointly work to establish local manufacturing of blades to reduce costs for wind turbine manufacturers, make wind energy more competitive and provide local jobs. The company now reveals that it has confirmed interest from customers in order to proceed to the next stage.

LM Wind Power will be looking for a suitable site location for a blade manufacturing facility on the coast of South Africa between Cape Town and the Port Elizabeth areas. The factory will be based on LM Wind Power's proven modular factory concept recently used for fast construction of its facilities in the USA, Poland, China and Brazil and could generate employment of up to 300 people once fully operational.

The South African government has indicated that it wants a wind market of about 5-600MW per year over the next two decades and it has recently launched tenders for several MW of renewable energy including wind. The auctions call for increased local content percentages that would benefit local production of major components like blades, which typically make up approximately 15% of the price of a turbine. Local manufacturing will provide more competitive wind energy as well as create new local jobs and knowledge opportunities combined with growth for local industries.

Søren Høffer, LM Wind Power VP Sales and Marketing, commented: “Many customers seek our support to their efforts in developing the market for wind energy in South Africa. We are pleased to make this announcement which confirms our commitment to help them succeed, using our technology and innovation to harness wind energy profitably and with maximum operational reliability and logistics savings. The development in South Africa coupled with increased local content requirements have the potential to drive the development of a local wind energy supply chain, which could ultimately lead to South Africa becoming a manufacturing hub for all of or part of the African continent. Political vision and commitment can make that scenario real. LM Wind Power aims to play a prominent role.”

For additional information please contact:

VP Global Communication
Christopher Oliver Springham
+31 (0)20 3043704
chsp@lmwindpower.com

or

Manager Global Communication
Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen
+45 51388236
lmrc@lmwindpower.com

 

Notes to the editor:

About the market potential in South Africa:
Preliminary estimates of wind sites in South Africa indicate 15% have wind-class-1, 50% of the sites have wind class 2, and the balance have wind-class-3. South Africa is expected to add 13 GW of renewable capacity by 2030, with wind accounting for 85% of cumulative renewable additions. A combination of emerging local players and leading foreign developers are currently developing 12 GW of renewable projects. The absence of a supply chain remains a key barrier to the development of South Africa's renewables market.

About LM Wind Power:
LM Wind Power Group is the world’s largest component supplier to the wind industry comprising a blades, brakes and service business and operating from or close to the major wind energy markets. LM Wind Power has produced more than 160,000 blades in the course of more than 35 years corresponding to approximately 63 GW installed wind power capacity.

About IDC:
The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd (IDC) is a self-financing, national Development Finance Institution (DFI). It was established in 1940 to promote economic growth and industrial development in South Africa.

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