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Nordex to invest €50m in strengthening wind blade capabilities

German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex plans to invest some €50 million between 2014 and 2016 in strengthening its capabilities for the series production of large composite rotor blades.

Around €25 million will be spent on the expansion and modernisation of Nordex's plant in Rostock.

Rostock will become the company's lead factory, focused on producing the most modern and largest blades. These include the NR58.5 and NR65.5 blades for the N131/3000 (3 MW), N117/3000 (3 MW) and N117/2400 (2.4 MW) turbines.

The bigger blades, and moulds required, necessitate modifications to the existing production halls. A new hall for blade finishing will also be built.

This physical separation of basic production and finishing operations removes the need for complex production steps in cabins, and facilitates quality assurance, Nordex says.

International production

The other half of the funds will be channelled into a long-term 'built-to-print' strategy with international partners to exploit the cost advantages of their international production facilities.

More than 80% of all turbines which Nordex installs for its customers go on line in countries outside Germany.

With sales volumes expected to rise – last year Nordex SE achieved growth of around 33% – the company wants to increase the production output at its own plant. At the same time, it is committed to covering only 20-30% of its requirements internally.

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