- Brazil's Votorantim to invest $260 Million on Piaui wind farm
- Wind power in Brazil expanded 82% in 2014 to 6.2 gigawatts
Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA, Spain’s biggest wind-turbine maker, won a contract to supply 196 megawatts of equipment to the Brazilian industrial company Votorantim Industrial SA for a power plant under development in the country’s northeast, according to two people familiar with the deal.
The deal is for the first phase of a wind complex in the state of Piaui that will eventually have 600 megawatts of capacity, according to the two people, who asked not to be identified because the deal is not yet public. Votorantim plans to invest 1 billion reais ($260 million) for the initial phase, which is expected to go into operation in 2018, one of them said.
Gamesa has been pursuing more business in Brazil’s booming wind market, said Helena Chung, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Sao Paulo.
“Turbine makers are fighting for contracts in Brazil, and Gamesa is aggressive,” she said. “It has won competitive contracts” in the past several months, she said.
Brazil added 2.8 gigawatts of wind power last year, boosting its total installed capacity by 82 percent to 6.2 gigawatts, according to the World Wind Energy Association. With the Votorantim deal, Gamesa’s capacity in the country will increase to 2,786 megawatts, according to New Energy Finance.
Gamesa will supply 98 of its 2-megawatt turbines to Votorantim through 2017, according to one of the people. The equipment will be produced at a manufacturing plant in Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia. Gamesa’s turbines accounted for 22 percent of the market in Brazil last year, the most after General Electric Co., the company said in an e-mailed statement. A spokeswoman for the Zamudio, Spain-based company declined to comment on the deal, as did a spokesman for Votorantim.
Brazil’s expanding wind market has been largely funded by the country’s development bank BNDES, which approved 6.6 billion reais in loans for wind projects last year, up 83 percent from 2013. BNDES, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico & Social, expects to approve 15 percent more wind financing this year.
To qualify for BNDES loans, the development bank requires that developers use turbines with all or most of their components produced within the country.
Gamesa announced in June plans to expand production in Brazil, including investing 30 million reais to boost annual capacity at a nacelle plant to 640 megawatts from 400 megawatts. The company’s nacelles -- the car-sized units that house a turbine’s machinery -- produced in Brazil over the next two years have already been sold, according to the e-mail.