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France

France

Ford factory moves into wind power

HZ Holding France, a subsidiary of German industrial investment company HZ Holding, has announced plans to produce large bearing rings for wind turbines near Bordeaux at a factory currently owned by Ford Motor Company. No financial details of the deal, which should be completed in April, have been disclosed, although the French state will provide a subsidy of EUR 12 million over three years, amounting to "50% of the budget of the operation." In exchange, HZ Holding France must guarantee to retain all 1600 employees working at the factory, among other conditions. The plant will continue supplying automatic transmission systems to Ford to 2011, after which it will diversify into other areas, including making components for the wind industry. HZ Holding France says it will invest around EUR 200 million in the factory by 2013, split between six industrial projects, of which EUR 80 million is earmarked for wind power.

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