Suape, Brazil factory expands to meet demand for longer wind turbine blades

    Blade size continues to grow, and so does our team of talented blade builders! On November 12 we announced the expansion of our Suape factory, in response to growing domestic and international demand for blades above 60 meters in length.

    We opened this blade manufacturing facility in the Suape Port Complex, in Ipojuca City, Pernambuco in 2013. Since August, we have hired more than 200 new employees at the Suape plant, which now employs nearly 900 people. The expansion includes extensions of buildings and the installation of new equipment and technologies which will be implemented over the coming months.

    Suape Plant Director, Nilo Maia, said: “The Brazilian market has seen slow demand growth for a number of years but is now showing positive signs of recovery. 2018 marks a new beginning. Energy auctions started again, and the growth of our plant is a response to that, combined with increased demand from export markets. We are optimistic about the future and look forward to welcoming even more colleagues to the team.”

    The demand for longer blades beyond 60 meters in length is a global market trend, driven by the need for larger rotors that generate more energy per turbine. Another strong trend is the need for continuous cost reductions throughout the supply chain, to constantly reduce Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).

    Nilo added: “Although we are optimistic about the future in Brazil, the domestic market in particular is characterized by very tough competition. That creates pressure throughout the supply chain. We are committed to help our various customers succeed in Brazil, by developing and implementing the newest technology to enhance the performance of our rotor blades while at the same time we are constantly working to reduce our cost base.”

    New employees have started their 45 days of practical and theoretical training in our state-of-the art Center of Excellence. It is an intense learning program which teaches the necessary skills for blade building. This new growth provides opportunities for many young people to begin their first job in a strategically important, green and growing energy industry. New employees come from the local communities near the factory, within the cities of Ipojuca and Cabo de Santo Agostinho, on the south coast of Pernambuco.

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    “I polish and paint the blade after the molding process, with great care and attention to make the perfect product. My most memorable day was when we began hiring more employees, because then I knew we were on the right path” - Thiago, Production Operator in Suape, Brazil


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