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Spain

Spain

New wind turbine production facility -- Enron base in Europe

American Enron strengthened its foothold in Spain last month when it announced the start to construction of its first Spanish wind turbine manufacturing plant in the province of Toledo in the region of Castilla la Mancha (New Castile). The property and production rights of the plant belong to Tacke Energiā€”s Eolicas (TEE), a division of Enron Wind's German division, Tacke Windenergie.

Enron in Spain was not prepared to confirm the cost of the factory, but sources in Toledo estimate the investment to be in the order of ESP 582 million (EUR 3.5 million). The facility is scheduled for completion by June.

By May, the factory will begin turning out the TZ-750i turbine for an order for 100 units for Spain's largest wind developer Energia Hidroelectrica de Navarra (Windpower Monthly, January 2000). This order alone will create some 50 full time jobs and another 50 part time. Delivery of the first turbines is planned for June with the rest to follow before the end of the year. By this time TEE plans to be making its 2 MW machine and expects the factory's overall production to have ramped up to its full 720 MW a year capacity.

Although developments in Castilla la Mancha are expected to continue absorbing the bulk of the factory's output after the summer, Enron Wind's director of operations in Spain, Sergio Castedo, says turbines will be produced for developments elsewhere in Spain and will even be exported to the north of Africa. He points out that this is one of the main reasons for choosing the municipality of Noblejas in Toledo as the factory site. Noblejas is strategically located 45 minutes from Madrid and offers easy access to the country's main road network. Although Castedo claims Enron is negotiating orders with other developers, he is not prepared to reveal any details.

Castedo explains that "the factory is part of the Enron group's European growth strategy in general." In July 1998, Enron received from the Spanish Industry and Environment Ministries the first license to be granted to a non-Spanish company to market electricity and it is now fully endowed to export or import electricity to and from Spain.

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