The Board of Directors of the Port Authority of Bilbao granted a licence for 77,355 square metres of land to Haizea Wind – a company in which Tecnoaranda is a partner – for the installation on Dock AZ2 of the Port of Bilbao Extension a marine wind tower manufacturing plant and other components for export to the European market. This will create 296 new jobs. It is expected to commence activity in the first quarter of 2018.
The land will house four industrial pavilions and an office block which amounts to approximately 47,000 square metres. The building of the plant and the installation of specialised machinery will require an estimated total investment of 55 million euros.
Since the present Port Authority investment plan provides an item for a logistics platform, it will be the entity itself which undertakes the building of the warehouses and then license them out to Haizea Wind.
The plant will have the capacity to manufacture 540 off-shore tower sections of XL dimensions. It is understood that section units are not always the same, so, the section with the greatest dimensions known up to now is taken as a reference. The land tower section equivalent would be some 1,200 sections. Wind towers constitute one of the main elements of a wind power generator which is made up of three blades, a nacelle and a tower.
In addition, the plant will be capable of manufacturing other XL parts used in marine wind farms such as monopoles and transition pieces. Raw materials start from carbon steel plate
delivered straight from local steelworks, bridles also made of steel, and electrical and mechanical inside elements.
At the beginning, production can be about 180 sections yearly until 540 are reached at cruising speed. Amongst other raw materials, the plant is expected to use 65,000 tonnes of thick metal plate and 7,500 tonnes of bridles.
Haizea Wind has opted to carry out its investment in the Port of Bilbao due to its privileged location for this business: the main challenge for this industry – it is impossible to transport this type of product by any land means because of its size – is eliminated. Similarly, its location enables them, should the market so demand, to be also very competitive in land wind tower manufacturing, since the plant is prepared to be able to manufacture both these product types, which offers a lot of flexibility to adapt to different demand situations.
In its management role in this project, Tecnoaranda has received the support of its main clients – Siemens, Vestas and GE – to set up this plant in the Port of Bilbao.