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Germany

Germany

Purchasing pool picks supplier -- Germans join ranks

A group of six German wind plant developers calling themselves "Pool 2" has signed a framework agreement with NEG Micon Deutschland for the supply of between 100 and 150 wind turbines for installation in about 20 wind projects over the next two years. The deal includes an option for further projects. NEG Micon Deutschland, the German arm of NEG Micon of Denmark, is based in Ostenfeld and markets, installs and maintains NEG Micon machines in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg.

The agreement is for turbines rated at between 600 kW and 2 MW, with most to come from the high end of the size range. Around 50 will be turbines rated at between 600 kW and 1 MW, and about 100 turbines at 1.5 MW and 2 MW, says Andreas Köster of UmweltKontor Renewable Energy of Hückelhoven, one of the Pool 2 members. The other companies in the consortium are Solar World of Bonn, Geo of Stedesand in Schleswig-Holstein, MBBF of Moltenow in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schlüter Consult of Kaufungen in Hesse and Neue Energie-Technik (NET) of Diez in Rhineland Palatinate.

"We can't say exactly how many turbines each company will buy yet as we are now in the process of drawing up the individual purchasing contracts," says Katrin Petersen for NEG Micon Deutschland. Twenty to 30 turbines will be installed in 2000, 70 to 90 in 2001 and the rest in spring 2002, she adds.

Pool 2 looked for a turbine manufacturer that could supply a broad spectrum of turbine types, says Köster. The price negotiations were led by Martin Jensen of Geo, who had previously organised the buyers groups Pool 1 and Pool 0. The contract details of Pool 2 were thrashed out by UmweltKontor, Köster adds.

"The seeds for Pool 2 were sown at the Husum wind energy trade fair in September when the companies first came together," says Ciro Capricano of NET, the smallest of the partners. "The combined capacity of the order will be 120 MW to 130 MW," he says. NET will take ten or 15 turbines of between 1 MW and 2 MW capacity. All turbines covered by the framework contract are to be used for projects in Germany, he adds.

Advantages

The advantages to Pool 2 of the framework agreement include the lower prices achievable with bulk purchasing, Capricano says. Petersen is not enthusiastic about this aspect of the deal. "We are, of course, very happy about the contract, but we don't necessarily want to promote purchasing pools," she says. " When ten farmers decide to buy a turbine we don't really want them to get together."

Pool 2 has built on the experience of Geo in the creation of Pool 0 back in 1994 and 1995 which covered several Micon 600 kW machines and more recently Pool 1, also known as the Nordfriesland Pool, that was supplied by Vestas. Geo negotiated Pool 1 in 1997 and 1998 in eight rounds of talks covering 35 turbines for six "peoples" wind farms operated by community groups.

"Potential investors approached us about creating a Pool 2 because they felt prices had to go down and conditions had to be improved," says Jensen. All the large manufacturers responded apart from Enercon, which declined to work with a buyers pool and was sceptical it would work, Jensen reports. Tacke was a close runner up to NEG Micon as the chosen supplier, he adds. Pool 2 is now jointly negotiating the supply of turbine foundations, switching plant, transformers stations, insurance, and technical operation and services for the consortium projects.

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