Wind turbine blade maker LM Wind Power has announced intentions to expand its manufacturing base to the African continent.
In 2011, LM Wind Power signed a cooperation agreement with Industrial Development Corp. to jointly work to establish local manufacturing of blades in Africa. The company says it now has confirmed interest from customers and will 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 company says the factory could generate employment of up to 300 people once fully operational.
According to LM Wind Power, the South African government recently launched tenders for several megawatts of renewable energy, and the auctions call for increased local manufacturing of related components.
"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," says Soren Hoffer, LM Wind Power's vice president of sales and marketing.