A senior corporate executive said that wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa intends to sell its blade factory in Tangier, northern Morocco, with production ending there by early 2023.
“The decision was taken from a global perspective that accounted for changing market demands, increased competition, and the impact of a severe supply chain crisis,” said Paulo Fernando Soares, Onshore CEO for South Europe, Africa, Latin America and Brazil.
Pandemic-related supply chain issues, competition, and spiking steel and aluminum costs – aggravated by the Ukraine crisis – have made manufacturing wind turbine components a difficult business in recent years, despite high demand from governments looking to wean themselves off fossil fuels.
The company’s capacity to complete ongoing projects will not be impacted by the closure, he said.
With a market share of 50% of installed wind energy capacity, Siemens Gamesa operates in nine additional African countries besides Morocco.
Egypt, South Africa, and Morocco continue to be its core African customers; these countries have suitable legislative frameworks and grid stability that promote infrastructure investment and wind power projects.
Energy transition projects on the continent had become more expensive due to supply chain disruption, he said.
The company said in early November that its core earnings margin for the fiscal year that ended on September 30 was minus 5.9%, missing its own August forecast of minus 5.5%. This figure includes gains from selling its development division.
Due to the worldwide push toward decarbonization, which Siemens Gamesa said could result in a 30% increase in electricity demand between 2020 and 2030 – the company anticipates long-term demand to soar after 2024.