Japanese car maker Honda is to build a $49m wind farm in Brazil to power one of its manufacturing plants.

It marks the first time an automobile manufacturer in Brazil has invested in wind power.

Honda subsidiary Honda Automoveis do Brasil will build the wind farm in the city of Xangri-la in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil. It is hoped it will be operational by September 2014.

It will be run on nine wind power turbine units and is expected to generate around 85 MW of electricity per year.

Honda has set up a new subsidiary – Honda Energy do Brasil – to plan the plant and further wind power opportunities in Brazil. Its president, Carlos Eigi, said: “Ever since Honda began local production in Brazil in 1976, Honda has been co-operating with the local community and striving to minimise the environmental footprint of our production activities. Wind power generation has proven to be very effective in reducing CO2 emissions. Through the utilisation of renewable energy, Honda will continue to be proactive in pursuing environmental conservation activities in Brazil.”

Honda has set a target to reduce CO2 emissions from its global products by 30 per cent by the end of 2020 compared to year 2000 levels.