The Australian steel industry is very concerned that 75 percent of the wind towers for the Gullen Range wind farm, North-West of Goulburn in regional NSW will be imported from China. On top of this it appears that REpower (Australia) will be importing all the wind towers for the upcoming Mount Mercer wind farm project. Wind towers are the only component of wind farm infrastructure currently manufactured in Australia. There are a number of Australian steel fabricators who specialise and are highly experienced in making these structures. A local subsidiary of Chinese wind farm supplier/developer, Goldwind intends to import 56 wind towers from China for the Gullen Range wind farm, leaving just 17 towers for the local industry to make and supply. REpower plans to import all 64 towers for Mount Mercer. The ASI warns that these decisions to import towers immediately puts at risk 500 skilled manufacturing jobs in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. “This is an extremely serious development for the local steel industry and the tower fabricators as the original Renewables Energy Target (RET) was negotiated with industry and unions based on generating local ‘green’ manufacturing jobs,” ASI National Manager – Industry Development, Ian Cairns said. The least we can expect is that we secure the only manufacturing jobs left in wind farm development, being the wind towers.” He said that the supply decision could not have come at a worse time as the existing Australian wind tower manufacturers have little to no work and have recently been laying off local workers. “The motors, blades and other parts are all imported into Australia so if we lose the work on the wind towers there is no local manufacturing done on these at all,” Mr Cairns said. “The actual tower is less than 10 percent of the total project cost of the wind farm project so any price differential for using Australian-made towers is minimal at about one or two percent of project cost. Not much to ask to retain some local content. That would be more than compensated with more accessible local service support and helping to keep and further cultivate project skills and industry capability in renewables here.” Both Brazil and Canada have local content policies that support their renewables industry. The United States wind tower industry has also taken positive steps to support its manufacturing industry having recently been successful with an anti-dumping claim against wind towers from China and Vietnam. In that case, the US Department of Commerce preliminarily determined that Chinese producers/exporters sold wind towers in the US at dumping margins of 20.85 to 72.69 percent and received subsidies of at least 13.74 to 26.00 percent. It is expected that some of the wind towers for the local projects in question will come from the same factories cited in the US anti-dumping case. “Having lost this market, it is no coincidence that we are now seeing a focus on Australia. Surely a ‘dumped’ product from the same supply chain in the US market should also be a dumped product in the Australian market,” Mr Cairns said. “We call on Government to review the circumstances of these wind farm projects and confirm how they will deliver on their original commitment of ‘green’ manufacturing jobs from the renewables energy sector.”