According to reports, Suzlon Energy Ltd. (SUEL), India’s biggest wind-turbine maker, expects sales in Brazil to surge to 225 megawatts this quarter, even after the country’s development bank suspended financing for projects using its equipment.
The company will close deals worth 1.2 billion reais ($588.7 million) for wind farms this quarter, according to Arthur Lavieri, chief executive officer of Suzlon’s Brazil unit. The company sold 152 megawatts of turbines for two Brazilian power projects last year.
Demand for turbines in Brazil will more than double this year from 2012 to 2,024 megawatts, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The country is seeking to ensure that domestic suppliers benefit and stopped offering loans in May for purchases of equipment from Suzlon and four other non-Brazilian companies that it said weren’t using enough locally produced components. That hasn’t slowed sales, Lavieri said.
“The majority of the customers already know that for a large time they will need to have their own resources” to finance turbine purchases, Lavieri said yesterday in an interview in Alphaville, Brazil.
The company expects to invest as much as $25 million to expand its supply chain to meet Brazil’s local content rules, including opening a factory in 2014 to assemble nacelles, the car-sized units that house the gears, electronics and other machinery, he said.
Manufacturers are required to source at least 60 percent of their components in Brazil and Suzlon’s rate is now 68 percent, he said. The company expects the development bank, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social, to lift the financing ban, and Lavieri said he doesn’t know when that will happen.
Suzlon has gone through two audits to show compliance since the loan freeze took effect last year, he said. “We delivered all the documentation. Right now we’re just waiting for them to issue the resolution.”
The lending ban affects two projects under construction using 130 megawatts of Suzlon turbines, he said. They won’t be affected by new rules that took effect this month for contracts signed starting in December 2011 and require turbine companies to produce or assemble most of their equipment within the country.