Siemens has selected US-based Molycorp to supply rare earth materials for its direct drive wind turbine generators over the next 10 years.
Molycorp will supply the materials from its Mountain Pass facility in California to Shin-Etsu Chemical Co, which will produce rare earth magnets for the German manufacturer.
Siemens said key factors in choosing Molycorp were the company’s ability to provide greater global diversification and reliability to its supply chain, as well as the “environmental and process innovations Molycorp has built into its Mountain Pass facility”.
It added that the magnets to be used in its turbines will contain reduced levels of heavy rare earth elements such as dysprosium.
"The contract with Shin-Etsu and Molycorp is an important step for us in sourcing magnet materials for our direct drive wind turbines," said Siemens wind power and renewables division head of technology Morten Rasmussen.
"We strive for diversification in the sourcing of these components to improve independency from specific markets."
Molycorp president Geoff Bedford added: “This agreement underscores Molycorp's commitment to partner with our customers to support their product development efforts and serve as an integrated, long-term provider of reliable rare earth supply."