Spanish firm Haizea Wind has unveiled a €60m fabrication plant in the Port of Bilbao.
The specialist facility, covering around 77,000 square metres on the AZ-2 quay extension, will be used to construct wind turbine towers and foundation blocks.
It benefits from direct access to a berthing facility with depths of 21 metres, with three bays 500 metres long and 35 metres wide.
Haizea Wind said that at full capacity it could produce 300, 50-metre sections for offshore towers every year. Up to 100 monopile foundations, 100 metres in length could also be produced at the port facility.
Production is currently underway, with 86 people employed. on site. The figure is expected to rise to circa 300 when the factory hits full production.
The Basque city of Bilbao has become the focus of Spain’s wind power industry which is fighting competition from China and northern Europe.
Two firms leading the Spanish windfarm sector, Iberdrola and Gamesa, are both based in Bilbao, the latter of which merged with Germany’s Siemens in 2017. Domestic growth across the sector stalled in Spain in 2012 after the economic downturn led to an end of government fed incentives for renewable energy.
Despite this, Spain is ranked fifth in the world for installed wind power capacity. The wind power sector is expected to invest €5 billion in Spain by 2020, according to the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE).
The Basque Country is home to 112 firms that cover almost the entire production chain for both land and off-shore wind farms.
According to experts the future of offshore wind power in Spain lies in floating farm technology, in which wind turbines are anchored to the sea floor using chains and anchors instead of a cylindrical foundation.
However, the Basque Country and Canary Islands are considered the only two areas in Spain where floating wind farm technology is suitable being designed for deep waters. In the meantime Spanish wind power firms are expected to continue to focus on the onshore segment due to a surplus of suitable land, which can be developed at lower cost.