State Government to explore WA-first local manufacturing of wind turbine components

Sarah Makse and Liam CroyAlbany Advertiser
Premier Mark McGowan at the Albany Wind Farm.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan at the Albany Wind Farm.

Premier Mark McGowan has announced his government will explore the possibility of WA-first local production of wind turbine components.

Speaking at the Albany Wind Farm this morning, Mr McGowan revealed a feasibility study had been launched to investigate the opportunities surrounding local wind turbine manufacturing.

He said WA needed more manufacturing and needed to be more self-sufficient given that traditional supply chains were “now under threat”.

“This is a massively growing industry around the world,” Mr McGowan said.

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“Clearly wind will be an important part of our renewable future for decades i not centuries to come and we want to make sure WA is at the forefront.

“Wind turbines in one of the windiest places on Earth is obviously a natural fit and so we’re going to work with industry to try to come up with ways of manufacturing more of the components and even wind turbines here in our State.”

The State Government has formed the Local Industry Participation in Wind Farm Supply Action Group, which has been tasked with making recommendations on market trends, supply chain issues, local participation opportunities, regulatory barriers and the potential to generate investment.

The action group is comprised of BlueScope Distribution, the Australian Steel Institute, the WA Regional Development Alliance, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and some of the State’s largest steel fabricators.

“The fact that full wind towers are being imported into the country has restricted job opportunities in manufacturing and fabricating by WA businesses,” Mr McGowan said.

“We’re starting to see more international and Australian businesses establish manufacturing facilities on the east coast however that does nothing for local businesses and local jobs here in WA.

“We have some talented, innovative and willing steel fabricators in WA and we need to look at how we can maximise our expertise and build a pipeline of future job opportunities for Western Australians, just like we are doing with WA-made railcars.”

Energy Minister Bill Johnston said wind energy was the “lowest cost form” of electrical energy and WA was “ready to give it a go” in collaboration with industry.

“Manufacturing parts for wind turbines in WA has never been done before by government and if it all stacks up then it’s another new pipeline of work for WA,” he said.

“This is about taking advantage of the undoubted demand for wind turbines in WA’s future.

“We know wind turbines are going to be built right across the State to take advantage of all of our wind energy opportunities.

“This is about making sure we’ve got manufacturing to support those opportunities.”

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