Jan 27 (Reuters) - Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau SA will form a joint venture with Japan's Sumitomo Corp and Japan Steel Works Ltd (JSW) to compete in the wind power sector in Brazil, Gerdau said on Wednesday.
With 280 million reais ($70 million) in investment for new equipment, the joint venture would use Gerdau's mill in Pindamonhangaba in the state of Sao Paulo to supply parts for wind turbines from 2017.
In the midst of a downturn in Brazilian steel because of a collapse in the construction and auto sectors, Gerdau said the wind power sector in Brazil was set to grow in coming years.
"We are working to transform Gerdau into a more efficient and more profitable company, considering the current and future challenges in the global steel market," Chief Executive Andre Johannpeter said in a statement.
Sumitomo and JSW have extensive experience in supplying the wind power industry, Gerdau said. It said Gerdau would have a stake of more than 50 percent stake in the joint venture, which would create 100 jobs. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira in Sao Paulo and Stephen Eisenhammer in Rio de Janeiro; editing by Grant McCool)