Siemens Gamesa sells its turbine blade factory in Tangier

Wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa seriously plans to sell its turbine blade factory in Tangier, and halt production there in early 2023, a senior company official has said.

The German group Siemens Gamesa had officially inaugurated, on October 11, 2017, this new factory of wind turbine blades (in the free zone Tangier Automotive City extending over 37,500 m2), during an event chaired by the former Minister from Industry, Investment, Commerce and the Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid Elalamy and Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. The project then involved an investment of 1.1 billion dirhams and had enabled the creation of 700 direct jobs and 500 indirect jobs.

Last September, the German group Siemens Gamesa declared in a press release the closure of its Tangier plant for the beginning of 2023. This action was part of a series of measures decided within the framework of the Mistral program aimed at accelerating the recovery of the company and jeopardized 500 jobs by this decision. The company nevertheless announced that it would maintain its regional headquarters in Casablanca. ” The decision was taken from a global perspective that took into account changing market demands, increased competition and the impact of a severe supply chain crisis. said Paulo Fernando Soares, CEO of Onshore for Southern Europe, Africa, Latin America and Brazil.

Pandemic-related supply chain issues, competition and skyrocketing steel and aluminum prices – exacerbated by conflict in Ukraine – have made wind turbine component manufacturing a difficult business in recent years, despite strong demand from governments betting on wind power to wean themselves off fossil fuels. The shutdown will not affect the company’s ability to complete ongoing projects, Onshore’s CEO said.

In addition to Morocco, Siemens Gamesa is present in nine other African countries with a market share of 50% of installed wind power capacity. Its main African markets remain Egypt, South Africa and Morocco, countries that offer suitable policy frameworks and grid stability that encourage investment in infrastructure and wind power projects, Soares told Reuters.

Supply chain disruptions have made energy transition projects on the continent more expensive, he added. In early November, the company said its base profit margin in the year ended Sept. 30, including gains from the sale of its development division, was minus 5.9%, which is lower than its own August forecast of minus 5.5%. Siemens Gamesa expects long-term demand to explode after 2024, as part of the global decarbonization effort which it predicts will see electricity demand increase by 30% between 2020 and 2030.

In the meantime few buyers are on this project but it is whispered as whispered rumors that Morocco would be strongly interested. Logical in the configuration where this project which appears as an industry of renewable energies remains one of the strategic choices of Morocco and its energy policy. But let it be said between politics and business, it’s a whole world as impenetrable as it is dark. So don’t be in too much of a hurry and let it come!

That said, the Siemens Gamesa factory is the result of an investment of 100 million euros. The unit has created 750 jobs and provided 350,000 hours of training according to the most recent figures provided by the company. With a portfolio of wind projects totaling 1,212 MW in Morocco and a market share of 69% (production and maintenance), Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRN) was running its Tangier plant at full speed. But it is like saying that “the times, they are changing”…, to our detriment.

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