Wind generators could be made in WA

The Western Australian government has launched a feasibility study into producing wind turbine components locally.

While the government claims this is the first time a State Government has explored the local supply chain for wind farms, Victoria has previously supported wind turbine assembly by industry leader Vestas at Geelong.

However the initiative is welcome and builds on the latest $92.4 million package to boost local manufacturing in WA..

Other initiatives include a study into the manufacturing of iron ore wagons in WA, facilitate the manufacturing of cathode active materials in lithium-ion batteries, local concrete manufacturing and local waste processing capabilities and grants to local industry to make personal protective equipment.

The feasibility study will look at supply opportunities for wind farms, market trends, local industry participation opportunities including component manufacturing, and the potential to generate investment.

To support the initiative, the state government has formed the Local Industry Participation in Wind Farm Supply Action Group, comprising of BlueScope Distribution, the Australian Steel Institute, the Western Australian Regional Development Alliance, and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

Also involved are some of the State’s largest steel fabricators including Civmec, Austal Ships, Hofmann Engineering, Pacific Industrial Company and Fremantle Steel.

The Premier Mark McGowan said:”The fact that full wind towers are being imported into the country has restricted job opportunities in manufacturing and fabricating by Western Australian businesses.

“We have some talented, innovative and willing steel fabricators in Western Australia and we need to look at how we can maximise our expertise and build a pipeline of future job opportunities for Western Australians, just like we are doing with WA-made railcars.”

Australia is a significant user of wind power, and in September wind turbine make Vestas opened an assembly plant with some local content in Geelong, as reported in @AuManufacturing.

Picture: Vestas/Macarthur wind farm

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