LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, has launched its second 107-metre wind turbine blade mould (production line) at its Cherbourg factory in France, in order to address the industry’s demand for offshore wind turbine blades. The second mould has been through the prototype phase and will now start operations.
Additionally, GE Renewable Energy will be further investing in upgrading the plant. The company is planning an extension of the site, with the construction of an additional hall for finishing blades (post-moulding) before they are shipped.
The facility has produced the world’s first offshore wind turbine blade longer than 100 metres, a 107-metres long blade that will be used in GE’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbine.
Olivier Fontan, President and CEO of LM Wind Power, said: “Our teams here in Cherbourg are thrilled to take an active role in the energy transition and to be part of the successful journey for GE’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbine. The arrival of the second 107-metres mould at the factory marks an increased activity for LM Wind Power in Cherbourg, and we are happy to welcome a large wave of new employees, allowing us to participate in social development and create more jobs in the surrounding community.”
The site is recruiting 200 employees, targeting 800 employees’ total. Every new hire goes through an intensive six-week training program at the factory’s ‘Center of Excellence’ to learn wind turbine blade manufacturing processes and develop the skills and technical expertise required to produce high-quality wind turbine blades. Following the training, employees receive official certificates recognised in the French industry, as a Qualification Certificate for Metallurgy Operations.
The Cherbourg team is mostly looking to expand its production workforce, with positions that are open to all profiles and backgrounds. The site will also be looking for production supervisors, quality controllers and maintenance technicians. The expanded production workforce will allow LM Wind Power to meet the growing offshore wind industry demand.
The factory currently has about 600 employees, with 34 percent being women. The facility became the first wind turbine blade manufacturing site in France when it was opened three and half years ago in April 2018.
Image source: Courtesy of GE Renewable Energy
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