Alstom has today inaugurated France’s first offshore wind turbine production plants.

The facilities in Saint-Nazaire were opened in the presence of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Alstom chairman Patrick Kron and Alstom Renewable Power chairman Jérôme Pécresse.

Kron said the inauguration “represents a milestone in Alstom’s story and in the country’s own industrial history”.

“These new plants are France’s first offshore wind turbine production factories. We shall now be in a position to serve the French market as well as to meet a growing international demand.”Alstom offshore wind plant

The plants will manufacture nacelles and generators for Alstom’s Haliade 150-6 MW turbines.

They will employ about 300 workers, including 200 assembling the nacelles and 100 producing generators.

The plants are intended to produce up to 100 turbines a year and will be fully operational early next year. They are also the first industrial buildings in France whose project and design has been certified High Environmental Quality (HQE).

Among the first turbines off the production line will be five for the Block Island wind farm in the US, which will mark France’s first export contract in the offshore wind energy sector, as well as being its first offshore project in America.

The plants will also assemble 238 offshore turbines for three facilities being built by EDF in 2017 at Saint-Nazaire, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Fécamp.

Alstom designed the Haliade 150-6 MW especially for marine locations. It said that “thanks to a rotor exceeding 150 metres in diameter, the turbine’s yield is 15 per cent higher than that of other same-generation wind turbines”.