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Germany

Germany

Oil to wind shareholder sign of the times

A major German trade company with a past involvement in oil trading has bought a large stake in AN Windenergie, the German agent for Danish wind turbine manufacturer Bonus Energy. A 49% stake has been bought by the Bremen group Diersch and Schröder, with assets of DEM 800 million in 1998. Meantime, AN is celebrating the installation of the 600th AN Bonus turbine in Germany.

A major German trade company has bought a large stake in AN Windenergie, the German agent for Danish wind turbine manufacturer Bonus Energy. "The deal is a sign of the times, with the trend being ever more towards renewable energies," says Erich Grunwaldt of AN. A 49% stake has been bought by the Bremen group Diersch and Schröder (DS), with assets of DEM 800 million in 1998 and past involvement in oil trading. The deal, backdated to the beginning of 1999, has boosted AN's capital from DEM 300,000 to DEM 1 million (EUR 153,300-511,000). Investment company Bremen Investitions owns a dormant equity holding of DEM 2 million.

AN Windenergie expects its capital base to grow through internal resources. There are no plans to go public, though the partnership with DS is expected to lead to the expansion of its market share at home and abroad. "We expect a smallish expansion of our position in Germany," says Grunwaldt. The company has a 10% share of the market.

DS has activities abroad, including Spain and Hungary, which could provide stepping stones for new foreign wind projects. Grunwaldt says AN and DS are also investigating other forms of activity in the energy sector, but he declines to give details.

Meantime, AN is celebrating the installation of the 600th AN Bonus turbine in Germany. The turbine, a 600 kW machine, was erected for wind plant operator Unna Wind at a site near the major motorway junction Kamener Kreuz in North Rhine Westfalia. Also in July, AN Windenergie completed the Windpark Klostermoor, comprising six 1 MW machines, in the parish of Rhauderfehn. During the same month, two 600 kW units and one 1 MW AN Bonus machine owned by the Bürgerwindpark Hirschfeld were inaugurated at Hirschfeld in Bavaria. Two months earlier in May, AN completed a wind station of ten Bonus 600 kW machines on the island of Rügen after a six year planning period. The station, named Windwerk Rügen, has its own new transformer station and is located near Kluis-Silenz.

AN Windenergie reports it had sales of DEM 150 million in 1998, 36% higher than the previous year. The company has been active in the wind sector since 1984 and employs nearly 100 people in marketing, turbine development, site construction, and service and maintenance. AN closed down its manufacturing facilities for Bonus turbines at the end of 1996, and all machines are now made in Denmark.

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