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Babcock & Brown adds 22 MW in France to portfolio

Babcock & Brown Wind Partners (BBWP), a global wind fund owned by international fund manager Babcock & Brown, is adding to its portfolio and extending its geographic spread by purchasing 22 MW from Ostwind International, a French subsidiary of German project developer Ostwind. The deal will bring BBWP three plant to be built at Fruges in the Pas-de-Calais département of northern France as part of a 140 MW turnkey development, the biggest in France to date. Construction of the first phase of 35 Enercon E-70 turbines is to begin in the autumn, with delivery scheduled for mid-2007. Work on the second 70 MW phase will start late 2007 or early 2008. BBWP values its purchase at around EUR 30 million. The company says it will make progressive payments to Ostwind to be funded initially by non-recourse financing to be arranged at, or shortly after, the end of the construction phase. Peter O'Connell, CEO of BBWP, says the acquisition provides BBWP with its first assets in France. The support mechanisms in France provide "sufficiently large and stable revenue streams to satisfy the yield and return requirements of BBWP," he adds. Ostwind is in negotiations with two other investors over the sale of the remaining 48 MW making up the first phase. It has also offered BBWP the possibility of buying a further 62 MW of phase two.

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