LM Wind Power has announced that it will open a new wind turbine blade factory dedicated to the offshore wind market in Cherbourg, Normandy, France. The factory will be built on a site developed by Ports Normands Associés (PNA), a port authority that includes the Normandy region and the Manche Department. Ground breaking will begin in March 2017 and production is expected to commence from June 2018. Ultimately, the company expects to employ over 550 people, with as many as 2,000 further indirect jobs resulting in the local area.
The plant will serve all customers in the global offshore wind blades market, but the decision by LM Wind Power to start construction has been greatly facilitated by the concurrent signing of a supply agreement with GE for the blades powering its Haliade offshore wind turbine.
The French government has awarded two tenders in 2012 and 2014 for 3 GW of offshore wind production. More recently, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, Ségolène Royal, announced two further projects, both on the French coast. The larger turbines and blades for offshore wind require a coastal location and manufacturers need access to a modern and efficient harbor which is clearly the case in Cherbourg.
This blade factory project for the offshore wind market in Cherbourg benefits from strong support from the Normandy authorities. Ports Normand Associés (PNA) has invested heavily to prepare the port in order to welcome industrial companies such as LM Wind Power to develop renewable marine energy. This factory will become a base for serving the growing European offshore market.
Source: LM Wind Power