German equipment manufacturer Liebherr is opening a new production facility in northern Mexico to manufacture wind-power components for the North American market.

Liebherr’s Mexico factory will serve North American wind power market.
Photo Courtesy Liebherr
Liebherr’s Mexico factory will serve North American wind power market.

Scheduled to begin operation this summer, the newly built 269,000-sq-ft Liebherr Monterrey S. de R.L. de C.V. factory sits on 74 acres near Garcia in northern Mexico, about 85 miles southwest of McAllen, Texas.

It will operate under two managing directors, one responsible for production and development, the other for business administration and finance.

Liebherr expects to eventually have 180 employees working there.

Initially, the plant will machine and assemble large turntable bearings, which allow the upper section of a wind turbine to rotate atop its supporting tower. The bearings are similar to those that let a crane’s upper works rotate.

Liebherr previously had made all its wind-tower bearings at a factory in Biberach, Germany.

A Liebherr spokesman says machining and assembling large antifriction turntable bearings in Mexico will cut delivery time to the North American wind-power market almost in half, compared to shipping the finished bearings from Germany.

Liebherr plans to make other drive-line components, such as gear sets for wind-turbine blades and azimuth adjustments, at the Mexican facility.

In a recent newsletter, Willi Liebherr, president of Liebherr-International AG’s administrative committee, says supplying large antifriction bearings to the wind-power industry is a “significant” new business area for the company.

The company did not disclose the cost of the new Mexican plant or whether it will also manufacture components for other kinds of products.