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CHANGES AT THE TOP

Two top officials at Kenetech Windpower have been replaced, but they will both stay on with Kenetech. The changes should help the company concentrate more on manufacturing its back log of orders for turbines. The large orders come to a large extent from a recent agreement with India. Kenetech plans to produce 1100 turbines in 1995 and some 1600 in 1996. Some of its models have been renamed to simplify naming of modifications of turbines with VS (variable speed) and CS (constant speed).

Kenetech Windpower has two new top officials. President Joel Canino is replaced by Ralph Muse, a former management consultant with a background in manufacturing at Asea Brown Boveri and General Electric Company. Chief financial officer, Maurice Miller, will also be succeeded within a few months at Kenetech Corp by a person with more background in financial skills rather than project finance.

Canino remains president of CNF Construction and a Kenetech senior vice president. Miller will also stay with Kenetech in some other as-yet-unannounced role, says company spokesman, Bud Grebey. He explains the changes are because Kenetech is to concentrate more on manufacturing its backlog of ordered turbines.

The corporation also announced fourth-quarter and year-end results on February 16. Total revenues for 1994 were $379 million and for the quarter ended December 31, they were $125 million. The revenues yielded a net income of $12 million or 18 cents a share, and a net income of $6.5 million or 12 cents a share for the year and quarter respectively, after preferred dividends.

The revenues, however, include the one-off sale of a 50% equity interest in a wind plant under construction in Texas and of a 42 MW thermal power plant in Jamaica. The revenues also included the first outright sale of Model 33M-VS turbines. The variable speed machine has now been renamed the 33 KVS.

Full year revenues for 1993 were $236.4 million, resulting in a net loss of $7.6 million or 22 cents a share, fully diluted. Revenues for the comparable fourth quarter in 1993 totalled $76.3 million, and net income was $0.2 million.

Kenetech plans to produce some 1100 turbines in 1995 and a projected 1600 in 1996, says Grebey, compared with 100 manufactured in 1993 and 462 in 1994. The major constraint is getting enough components, he says.

A total of 700 turbines are to be bought by Aban Loyd Chiles Offshore Ltd of India over the next two years. Ninety-two were shipped in the fourth quarter, while an agreement for 600 turbines worth $150 million was signed recently while Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary was in India. The turbines for India are being manufactured in Livermore and shipped to India, where they are subject to a stiff import tariff. Once in India they are assembled under license by Aban. Kenetech, however, is considering both setting up sources for materials and components and manufacturing the 33 KVS in India within the near future, confirms Grebey.

The variable speed turbine is being renamed to enable Kenetech to name modifications more easily -- for cold weather, with different towers, and so on. The Model 56-100 is renamed the KCS-56, with CS standing for constant-speed.

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