Calls for Manufacturing Industry around Wind Farms in South Africa

  • Anne Henschel, managing director of Nordex South Africa, has called for the establishment of a manufacturing industry around wind farms in the country.

South Africa’s wind energy industry was under the spotlight this past week at the 2018 Windaba in Cape Town. Among the key themes at this year’s event, the first event since the lifting of the REIPPP impasse was on growing investment in the industry.

Anne Henschel, managing director of Nordex South Africa and South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) board member, called for the establishment of a manufacturing industry around wind farms in the country.

“In the recent round 4 of the REIPPP Nordex was awarded with four projects and an additional 547MW of wind capacity. 174 AW125 wind turbines are being installed on these four wind sites. This will enable Nordex South Africa to double the number of local employees,” said Henschel.

She added: “We will also have local concrete tower production facilities close to all of the sites. By manufacturing these concrete towers locally we are additionally able to uplift the local communities.”

Nordex Group has recently launched and installed the first N149/4.0-4.5, currently the on-shore wind turbine with the longest blade worldwide. The company underlined that the turbine is very attractive for South African wind conditions, especially with a view to Round 5 of the REIPPP. Its N149/4.0-4.5 is already available in the South African market.

Industry experts such as the Nordex Group play a key role in injecting energy into the industry. In total, the company has been awarded a total of nine REIPPP contracts for wind turbine manufacturing and service maintenance, of which five projects are fully operational.

With over 1GW, this will be the highest amount of wind capacity provided by one wind turbine manufacturer in South Africa once operational. “Nordex Group has been present in South Africa for six years. We see the doubling of our local workforce as a sign of our continued commitment to the South African Wind Industry,” said Henschel.

Author: Babalwa Bungane

This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.

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