Offshore wind farm contract could mark a milestone


The Asturian firm has just won a contract with Navantia for the world’s first floating offshore wind farm. Orlando Alonso presides over a company, Windar renovables, with 1,400 workers and factories in Spain, Brazil and India – it will soon also have one in Mexico – with the capacity to produce 1,700 wind turbine towers. At the end of last year, in alliance with Navantia, it won a contract to manufacture 29 structures for an Iberdrola offshore wind farm in Germany. Last Wednesday it sealed the second, for the energy giant Statoil. He is convinced that if these first orders go well, Ferrolterra will become a reference in the sector.

Two orders in half a year, what are the keys that explain this?

Windar has been in the sector for many years, has extensive experience in the off-shore sector and, moreover, we are well known; and Navantia has facilities, technical and project management capabilities that we did not have. The key has been the combination of both. It is in our hands to make this new line of business, which is good for the region, succeed.

The components ordered by Statoil are for the world’s first floating wind farm. What technological challenges are you facing?

This could mark a before and after, because it will be the first floating wind farm to be set up in the world, in Scotland, and if we do well, other structures may follow in the wake of these five. We will have a dominant position to be able to compete with greater capacity and leadership than others will have.

The floating fleet will have more phases. Do you expect to win more tenders?

The units that will be in the next phases are still not very well defined, because it is as if it were a pilot park. This contract is for five units, which means a new structure and a new design. If we manage to make it competitive for deep waters of more than 60 metres, it could mark a milestone in the market and further open up the range in this maritime segment.

When you sealed the alliance with Navantia, did you think of reaping fruits so soon?

The truth is, no. In the first, the jackets for Iberdrola, we were very excited. It was a Spanish company, with which it was easier to negotiate and we already had relationships. The truth is that we have also fought a lot to achieve this second project and in the end by working and fighting we have achieved it. Although we are currently in the bidding phase in seven more contests. Being with Statoil in a leading project makes us position ourselves much better

How is this latest commission going to affect the region?

It will be done almost 100% at the Fene shipyard facilities. There is a part that we will do because we are specialists and another will be done by companies in the region, because we believe that they manage the area and the staff better and that will give us a lot of added value.