GE to Shutter Wind Turbine-Tower Manufacturing Plant in Brazil

General Electric Co. is shutting down a factory that produces towers for wind turbines in Brazil that it picked up as part of its acquisition of Alstom SA’s energy assets.

The plant in Rio Grande do Sul state employs about 80 people, a GE press officer in Sao Paulo said Friday.

GE is the biggest turbine maker in North America, and typically buys towers from outside suppliers instead of making them in-house. Closing the Brazil plant will continue that strategy.

“While GE moves forward on the integration process with Alstom, GE identified a synergy for wind towers, which will keep being produced by suppliers in Brazil,” the company said in an e-mailed statement Friday.

The decision follows the debut of GE Renewable Energy, a unit created in November after GE completed the acquisition of Alstom’s energy business. The move expanded GE’s wind energy business, growing its global portfolio to more than 30,000 turbines worldwide.

Wind power was GE’s fastest growing business in Brazil in the past two years. The company has about 2 gigawatts of turbines installed in Brazil.

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