German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex says it plans to hire up to an additional 130 employees to handle the production of its new wind turbine rotor blades.
The NR 58.5 rotor blade is used with the N117/2400 wind turbine, which began production in August, Nordex says, adding that the new turbine is sold out for the rest of the year.
As part of the high demand for this new machine, Nordex will invest approximately 10 million euros to add two production lines for the NR 58.5. Substantially longer yet lighter than its predecessor, the NR 58.5 is partially made from carbon. This new type of structure means that Nordex can only source the rotor blade from selected suppliers. For this reason, the company had planned from the outset to produce the rotor blade from 2013 onwards.
Looking forward, Nordex is aiming to produce up to 400 NR 58.5 rotor blades annually at its Rostock plant. This will be sufficient to fit more than 130 N117 turbines with their own rotors, producing a total output of 320 MW, Nordex says.
Up to 200 workers will be assigned to this production line at the end of 2013, some of whom will come from the company's core workforce. The rotor blade production facility currently has 270 employees, around 200 of whom are technical workers. However, Nordex will need to recruit and train about another 130 employees, the company says.