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Netherlands

SHARING THE SPOILS, OFFICIALLY BANKRUPT

HMZ WindMaster is officially bankrupt. Rising from the ashes, however, is a new Belgian offspring, Turbowinds. Viable spoils from the banktuptcy are being divided between Turbowinds and HMZ's former sister company, WindMaster Nederland in Holland. The two companies are being given technology rights to separate WindMaster models, details of which are reported in the article.

Attempts by wind turbine manufacturer HMZ WindMaster to work out a financial deal with its creditors in a so called "amicable liquidation" have failed. The Belgian wind company, owned by the giant Dutch Begemann group, is now officially bankrupt.

Rising from the ashes, however, is a new Belgian offspring, Turbowinds. Viable spoils from the banktuptcy are being divided between Turbowinds and HMZ's former sister company, WindMaster Nederland in Holland. According to WindMaster, HMZ went into voluntarily liquidation partly because it feared claims from the Public Power Corporation of Greece (Windpower Monthly, December 1995).

Turbowinds is the daughter of the Belgian importer of heavy transport vehicles with caterpillar tracks. This company worked in the past with HMZ during the installation of a wind plant in Kenya. By employing three former employees of HMZ WindMaster Belgium, Turbowinds hopes to carve out a piece of the Belgian wind market.

Meantime, the continuation of WindMaster Nederland is not under any threat following the bankruptcy of HMZ, assures the company's Hans Kursten. "Contrary to general belief, WindMaster Nederland is not a daughter of HMZ WindMaster but a sister company. The marketing of 300 kW turbines was done by HMZ WindMaster, but we paid them to do that," he says.

The bankruptcy of its Belgian sister has forced WindMaster Nederland into negotiations with Turbowinds on technology rights and projects. The deal concentrates on the technology for the 300 kW turbine. The 750 kW turbine is already owned by WindMaster Nederland. According to Kursten, WindMaster Nederland has gained the use of WindMaster technology outside Belgium for a period of "a few years." It has also taken over WindMaster Germany, including a project at Dunkirk in France consisting of nine 300 kW turbines. WindMaster Nederland is also to meet a contract to supply 17, 300 kW turbines to China.

Turbowinds has the right to use the WindMaster technology in Belgium, both selling it and using it for development of a new 300 kW turbine and possibly larger units. Turbowinds also inherits a project in India and the maintenance contract for the former HMZ's showcase wind farm on the harbour wall at Zeebrugge.

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