The founders of EcoPower, an independent renewables plant developer in Japan, have sold their share of the business to Ebara Manufacturing Co, which previously held a 30% stake in the company. Ebara now holds 67% of EcoPower following its purchase of shares from board member Sachio Senmoto and the founder and former president, Takeru Kojima. The company now aims to install 100 MW of wind power over the next few years. Senmoto is still the second largest share holder and retains his post in the company. Kojima, still one of the biggest shareholders, is now vice president. The new president, Toshio Katano, comes from Ebara. Other minor shareholders include Japan's largest leasing company, Orix, and Asahi Brewery. EcoPower, which operates 36 NEG Micon wind turbines (15 MW), has so far concentrated on small projects of two or three machines. Now it plans to make 5-10 MW wind projects its bread and butter business, says Katano. He expects to install the first NEG Micon 750 kW turbine this year. Ebara has strong links to NEG Micon. It is an authorised distributor for the Danish company and the two companies have formed a joint venture, Wind Service Corp Ltd, to service NEG Micon turbines. Ebara hopes to sell NEG Micon machines to other big wind energy developers like Tomen Corp and Electric Power Development Co. It has already sold two NEG Micon 600 kW turbines to the town of Usuhara on Shikoku island. "I am very optimistic about our sales this year," says Katano. "We will probably sell more than 20 turbines." Ebara's other activities in the energy sector include making solar panels, and it has established a joint venture with Canadian Balard to develop fuel cells for industry.
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