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The Western Australian Government is launching a feasibility study into local wind turbine component production as part of its WA Recovery Plan.

This is the first time a State Government has explored the local supply chain for wind farms.

The feasibility study will look at supply opportunities for wind farms, market trends and local industry participation opportunities, including component manufacturing, the potential to generate investment, and make recommendations to the State Government. 

The study brief also includes investigating opportunities to create jobs in both metropolitan and regional areas.

Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, said, “Our WA Recovery Plan is about getting our state back on track, securing a pipeline of work and ensuring Western Australians have more job opportunities for years to come. 

“The fact that full wind towers are being imported into the country has restricted job opportunities in manufacturing and fabricating by Western Australian businesses. 

“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 Western Australia 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.”

To support the initiative, the State Government has formed the Local Industry Participation in Wind Farm Supply Action Group, comprising of BlueScope Distribution, the Australian Steel Institute, the Western Australian Regional Development Alliance, the Australian Manufacturing

Workers Union and some of the State’s largest steel fabricators including Civmec, Austal Ships, Hofmann Engineering, Pacific Industrial Company and Fremantle Steel.

The group is expected to provide advice and recommendations to the State Government on areas such as:

  • Domestic and international market trends and supply chains issues
  • The scope for development of manufacturing, installation and maintenance opportunities from wind farm towers and associated infrastructure
  • Potential barriers, regulatory impediments or capacity and capability issues impacting on the development of the wind farm supply industry in Western Australia, and provide potential solutions as required
  • The form and extent of local capacity and capability essential to meet manufacturing requirements
  • Development of investment attraction strategies and/or content targets to strengthen Western Australian industry capability and competitiveness
  • Any appropriate facilitation and collaboration that could be provided by the State Government between local businesses and investors and established suppliers

This initiative builds on the latest $92.4 million package to boost local manufacturing in Western Australia to create a pipeline of local jobs.

Other initiatives include the construction of a new diesel car maintenance facility, a study into the manufacturing of iron ore wagons in Western Australia, facilitating the manufacturing of cathode active materials in lithium-ion batteries, local concrete manufacturing and local waste processing capabilities and grants to local industry to make personal protective equipment.

Western Australian Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, said, “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.

“WA has the willpower and we stand ready to give it a go in collaboration with industry.

“The study which will be led by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and will delve into the feasibility of how we can increase local manufacturing in WA to help in new industries and technology like the renewable energy sector and construction sectors.

“We’ve come out of a pandemic roaring to go and as we get industry back on its feet we’re also looking at opportunities further down the track which secures jobs in WA.”

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