LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business and leading designer and manufacturer of wind turbine blades, announced today that it has begun production at a new factory in Bergama, Turkey. The facility, which is located in Bergama Organized Industrial Zone (BOSBI), is expected to manufacture and distribute an annual capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) with the capability to expand to 1,5 gigawatts (GW).
The Bergama facility is the first new blade manufacturing site of LM Wind Power since it became a GE Renewable Energy business earlier this year. It represents a $50 million commitment to Turkey and will create up to 450 additional skilled technical jobs for the region, which range from manufacturing operations, to technical engineering, services, administration and ancillary support. Of the current 287-employee workforce, 24 percent are female.
Blade manufacturing requires a highly technical workforce and comprehensive training is a key component of ramping up a new LM Wind Power plant. The company inaugurated its Center of Excellence training facility in Bergama earlier this year, equipping the employees to apply and deepen their advanced blade manufacturing and industrial skills. The factory will address the needs of the fast-growing Turkish wind industry. Since 2010, annual new wind installations have continued to increase and sustained growth is predicted with a target of 20 GW by 2023.
Nabil Habayeb, President and CEO of GE in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey [MENAT], said: “The potential for renewable energy in our region is incredibly strong, with the acquisition of LM adding significant capabilities, especially in light of the launch of the new wind turbine plant in Turkey. The demand for efficient and sustainable sources of energy is only increasing, and this factory will help place us in prime position to meet the growing needs of customers in the region, all the while highlighting our commitment to local job creation and capability advancement.”
Dr. Manar Al Moneef, CEO of Renewable Energy at GE MENAT, said: “The renewable energy target set by Turkey – 30 percent of total energy from renewable sources by 2023 – is extremely encouraging, putting in place a clear path toward sustainable energy use and empowering others, across industries and sectors, to work together toward a common goal. The launch of the LM Wind Power turbine blade plant is a tangible indication of our commitment toward that goal, as well as our capabilities in helping to realize it. Turkey already ranks in the top 10 markets worldwide by increasing wind installation numbers, and we are confident that through new initiatives such as these both local capacity and capabilities will continue to advance.”
Marc de Jong, CEO of LM Wind Power, said: "We are proud and excited to celebrate with GE and our partners in Bergama. We continue our growth into a new country and this is a very attractive location for operations like ours. We have invested significant time and resources in Bergama and look forward to grow the wind industry with several partners and customers going forward.”
Jérôme Pécresse, CEO of GE Renewable Energy, added: “GE already operates eight facilities with more than 2000 employees in Turkey – a highly promising market for renewable energy and wind in particular. With LM Wind Power, GE Renewable Energy is integrating blade design and production into our wind turbine business giving us a strong position in the fastest growing segment of power generation. Last year, the Turkish wind sector reached a cornerstone by having more than 6GW wind power installed. GE is committed to investing long term in the communities where we operate and this facility is an important milestone in our commitment to work with local talent.”