Siemens Gamesa officially announced the first blade manufacturing plant in Africa and the Middle East this week with the inauguration of its new rotor blade factory in Tangier, Morocco.
The inauguration event was chaired by Morocco’s Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid El Alamy, and Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa, and is the first blade manufacturing plant by a wind turbine manufacturer in the Africa and the Middle East region. Located in the industrial zone of Tanger Automotive City, approximately 35 kilometers from the Tanger-Med port and positioned ideally between Europe and Africa for easy exporting, the plant measures 37,500 square meters and started production in April of this year.
The plant will offer wind turbine blades “100% made in Morocco” and will equip Siemens Gamesa’s SWT-DD-130 platform turbines (up to 4.2MW power rating) with the B63-10 turbine blades at a length of 63 meters. The new plant will likely be able to one day produce turbine blades up to 75 meters in length.
“This factory is good for our company and a solid business decision,” explained Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa. “We invest where we see strong business opportunities, and the opportunities here in Morocco are stronger than ever before. This location in Tangier provides us with direct access to some of the most important markets of tomorrow — here in Morocco, throughout the Middle East, in Europe, and in the Mediterranean Region.”
The benefits to Morocco will be immediate as the plant will create 600 local jobs as well as an estimated 500 auxilliary jobs. Additionally, Seimens Gamesa built a 3,500 square meters training center to train locals, which according to Siemens Gamesa “ensures the complete transfer of the technical and process skill sets necessary to optimize the manufacturing process.”
“The first wind turbine blades in Africa and the Middle East will be produced in Tangier and it represents a pride for the Kingdom,” said the Moroccan Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy, Mr El Alamy. “This pioneer project allows localizing value and announces the development of an ecosystem “renewable energy industry” which reinforces the strategic choices of Morocco, under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, aimed at the development of a green economy.”
“In Morocco, the demand for electricity increased at an average annual rate of 6.7% from 2003 to 2013,” added Ricardo Chocarro, Onshore Business CEO of Siemens Gamesa. “Thus, renewable energy is particularly attractive, offering a secure supply of domestically-produced power and contributing to energy independence. Our commitment to the government and people of Morocco is clear: we will work together with you in meeting your energy challenges, today and in the future.”
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