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Investment in Korean towers

American investment giant Goldman Sachs has turned its wind investment interests eastward over the past year. Last month it became the second largest shareholder in Korea's CS Wind Corporation, a tower manufacturer supplying mainly Vestas. CS Wind has facilities in China and Vietnam and has delivered over 980 towers for projects in the US and the Asia-Pacific since its wind industry entry in 2004. The company will use Goldman's $50.13 million investment to expand its manufacturing in China and Vietnam.

Goldman Sachs' latest stake in the Asian wind industry comes less than a year after its investment in Korea's Pyeong San Co, Ltd, a manufacturer of large forged parts, such as hubs for wind turbines. Pyeong San makes components for shipbuilding and chemical plants, but in 2006 saw its wind turbine components business accounting for more than 40% of revenue. The company is using the Goldman investment, made in spring 2007, to expand into the Chinese market. Goldman Sachs' Christopher Jun says the company intends to hold onto the two Korean companies for the time being and "continuously add value to these firms." The approach to the wind industry has already served Goldman Sachs well. Its sale of Horizon Wind Energy to Energias de Portugal last summer was reportedly for $1 billion more than it paid for Horizon just two years previously.

Among other Goldman Sachs wind investments is a long standing position in German turbine manufacturer Nordex and a recent investment in once Swedish Nordic Windpower, now established in the United States. It is commercialising a two-blade wind turbine design.

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