Blade manufacturer opens its second plant in China, re-opens Mexico plant in order to serve global wind market
TPI Composites, a leading global wind blade manufacturer, has announced that it has signed a multi-year supply agreement with Acciona Windpower SA to provide wind blades from TPI’s new factory in Dafeng, China. Acciona intends to export these blades for projects around the world including North America. TPI will also manufacture high-precision molds and assembly systems to produce Acciona’s blades at TPI’s recently announced advanced composite tooling facility in Taicang.
“TPI is excited to continue to support new customers on a global basis, and this agreement with Acciona validates the strength and value of TPI’s dedicated supplier model,” said Steve Lockard, president & CEO of TPI Composites. “The Acciona Group is one of the largest developers and owners of wind power projects in the world, and we are looking forward to supporting its expanding wind turbine business globally. Acciona’s strength and success is demonstrated in its recent 300MW order in the U.S.”
Jose Luis Blanco, CEO of Acciona Windpower SA, added, “We are very pleased to be partnering with TPI for the supply of AW116/125 wind blades for worldwide use. Acciona’s track record of reliability and TPI’s experience as an independent wind blade manufacturing partner will serve our needs well for years to come.”
TPI has been operating in China (Taicang, Jiangsu) since 2008 and is expanding its facilities with the addition of its Dafeng, Jiangsu facility. The location allows TPI to serve multiple customers and cost-effectively deliver products to the Chinese and export markets. TPI has manufactured tens of thousands of high-quality wind blades over a decade in Asia, Europe, and North America.
In December, TPI announced its decision to reopen its plant in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to provide cost-effective, world-class blades to the North American wind market. The Juarez factory was formerly operated as a joint venture between TPI and Mitsubishi Power Systems under the name of VienTek, but is beginning operations now to serve multiple customers as a 100 percent TPI-owned facility.
“TPI is very pleased to be reopening our Mexico operation to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy and to gain market share in the U.S. and Mexico,” Lockard said in December regarding the re-opening. “It will allow us to grow our business with current customers and to support new customers in the region.”
Wayne Monie, TPI’s chief operating officer, added, “We launched VienTek in 2002 and operated successfully for more than 10 years, providing many thousands of highly reliable blades to the U.S. market. The skills and the blade manufacturing knowledge of the roughly 600 former employees that we are rehiring will be fully utilized during the restart.”
TPI currently operates regional wind blade factories in the U.S., China, and Turkey. Lockard commented, “Our Newton, Iowa operation will continue to effectively serve primarily the mid-western U.S. market while the Mexico plant’s location is ideally situated to deliver blades by truck and rail to the western U.S. and Mexico markets.”