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Czech Republic

Czech Republic

French player lays its foundations -- In France, Spain, Czech Republic

The France-based European renewable energy producer Théolia has had a busy few months, moving into the Czech Republic, buying up in Spain and France and strengthening its financial base.

In May, it joined forces with Czech-based real estate company ORCO to establish T-O Green Europe to develop, build and manage wind, solar and biomass generation in Central Europe. The following month, Théolia Iberica -- the company's 80% owned Spanish partner established in March -- bought a 58 MW wind plant under construction near Almeria, southern Spain, from German developer Asset Logistic. The EUR 75 million investment will be financed 20% by Théolia Iberica and the rest by bank loans. Commissioning is expected in late 2007. Théolia Iberica ensured the project's grid connection by buying a 50% stake in Asset Electrica, which owns a 200 MW junction cable linked to the network, from Asset Logistic.

In July, Théolia acquired a 60% stake in a 30 MW wind power development at Fruges in northern France, including rights to the remaining 40% held by local partners for EUR 46.8 million. The plant is being developed by Germany's Ostwind as part of a big 140 MW turnkey development. The first 70 MW is scheduled for completion mid-2007.

Lastly, at the end of July, Théolia was admitted to Euronext's regulated Eurolist B market, transferring its shares from Euronext's Marché Libre. The new market status is a "fundamental step in the development of the group," says CEO Jean-Marie Santander and will give "renewed leverage for accelerated future growth." Théolia currently owns 38.5 MW installed wind capacity operating in France and Germany.

A further 251.5 MW is under construction or in the financing phase and 239 MW in the permitting process Europe-wide. The company aims to achieve 100 MW installed capacity by end 2006 and build an additional 150 MW per year until 2010.

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