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Rescue finalised

The joint venture partnership struck by New World Power with construction company Dominion Bridge Corp has been finalised in what appears to be a virtual Canadian takeover of New World's business dealings. Construction of the long awaited Big Springs project in Texas is to begin in about June 1997.

With all the hallmarks of a rescue operation, the joint venture partnership struck by troubled US wind plant developer New World Power with construction company Dominion Bridge Corp has been finalised in what appears to be a virtual Canadian takeover of New World's business dealings. Calls to the wind company's head office in Connecticut are now being referred to Dominion in Montreal.

In an agreement formally announced as final on November 6, Dominion is providing $2.5 million in cash and management expertise to its joint venture with New World so that the existing renewables projects of the wind company, some 100 MW in total, can be completed. Dominion is operated from Montreal, although it is incorporated in the tiny US state of Delaware, as are many North American companies.

Under the joint venture, Dominion will finance, construct, supply and operate New World projects. The giant company, an international construction and engineering services firm, is sometimes known as the "Bechtel of Canada." It will have the right to co-own and co-develop the projects on a 50-50 basis. In addition, the Dominion officials appointed temporarily to oversee the joint venture are expected to become permanent, says New World's Henry Hermann. The executives are: Montreal-based Vitold Jordan, president of a Dominion subsidiary and interim CEO of the joint venture; Gerard Prevost, former president of Quebec Hydro's international investment arm and Dominion's executive director for the joint venture; and Nicolas Matossian, Dominion's president and chief operating officer and consultant to the joint venture.

One of the most imminent projects for construction is the long awaited 40 MW of wind power at Big Springs in Texas. The project, now to consist of 67 Vestas V44 turbines from Denmark, is to be clustered where the wind is best on the 10,000 acre site, confirms Carol Peters of Texas Utilities. German designed Enercon turbines had previously been chosen for the project, but the agreement faltered after Kenetech filed suit for patent infringement of its variable speed technology by Enercon.

Construction at Big Springs is to begin in about June 1997 and the plant should be on line by the first quarter of 1998, confirms Peters. Vestas' involvement had not been officially announced by New World and Dominion as of November 18, but Texas Utilities confirmed the supplier.

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