Brazil Wind-Farm Development May Halt in 15 Days, Abeeolica Says

Wind-farm developers in Brazil may be forced to halt construction on some projects within 15 days because the state development bank BNDES is freezing financing for turbines purchased from suppliers it claims aren’t meeting local-content requirements.

Without loans from Brazil’s biggest wind-farm financier, developers are unable to pay for equipment they’ve already agreed to buy, Elbia Melo, executive president of the Sao Paulo-based wind-energy trade group Associacao Brasileira de Energia Eolica, said today in a telephone interview.

BNDES, formally Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social, temporarily suspended loans last month for turbines from five foreign manufacturers with operations in Brazil that it says aren’t obtaining enough components from domestic suppliers.

“If this goes on for another 15 to 20 days, projects will stop,” Melo said. Suppliers like India’s Suzlon Energy Ltd. “are already losing new clients.”

BNDES suspended financing for equipment from Suzlon, Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Germany’s Fuhrlaender AG, Clipper Windpower Ltd. of the U.S and Spain’s Acciona SA, Melo said.

They are initially required to get 40 percent of their components from Brazilian suppliers. The local-content requirement eventually rises to 60 percent on a schedule that varies by supplier, and BNDES may decide next week to extend those shifts, Melo said.

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