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Portugal

Portugal

Four consortia going for gold -- Portugal bids in

Four consortia presented bids in response to Portugal's international tender for the country's next 1000 MW of wind power. Portugal reached its first 1000 MW towards the end of last year. Released in July, the tender is an auction of contracts for 1500 MW in two phases: the first lot of 1000 MW will be awarded by July, with winning bids for the remaining 500 MW selected by the end of the year. The 1500 MW represents 25% of the total new wind power capacity installed in Europe last year.

The establishment of local manufacturing "clusters" for wind power equipment is one of the requirements of the tender, which rewards bidders who plan to export half their Portuguese production. Bidders are also obliged to form groups containing all the required skills for wind plant construction, keeping the consortium together until at least 2013. The four consortia submitting binding bids by the March 1 deadline are Ventonorte; Ventinveste; EDP/Enercon/Generg/Endesa; and Novas Energias Ibéricas. A consortium headed by Lena Group and Finnish turbine maker Winwind bought the tender documents but failed to fulfil the necessary requirements to present a bid.

The largest bid, for a total investment of €1.4 billion, is from the Ventonorte consortium, headed by Eufer (63.7%), a joint venture between Italian utility ENEL and Unión Fenosa Renovables. The other partners include German wind developer WPD (27.3%), Portugal's Enervento (5%) and Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon (4%). The plan is for Suzlon to establish its first European wind turbine production plant in Portugal.

Shareholders in the Ventinveste consortium are Galp Power (34%), Martifer (31%), Enersis (30%), Efacec (2%), Repower (2%), and Power Blades (1%). Their bid includes investing €1.035 billion in an industrial "cluster" and the installation of nine wind stations in seven districts with a combined capacity of 800-1000 MW. As an alternative plan, Ventinvest offers to bid for the second lot of 500 MW for a smaller sum of €450 million.

As part of the bid, German wind turbine producer Repower will install its first blade production unit in Portugal with the intention of supplying blades for all its European deliveries. The industrial "cluster" will produce 80 wind generators and 267 sets of blades a year, exporting 60% of them, mainly for wind stations being developed by Enersis and Martifer (a main owner of Repower) outside Portugal. According to Galp Energia president Marques Gonçalves, the first wind station will be installed in 2008 and the last in 2013.

The consortium headed by EDP, Portugal's utility, includes Termoeléctrica Portuguesa (owned by Portugal's large Sonae group and Spanish utility Endesa), Generg (Electrabel), Finerge (Endesa), SIIF (EDF) and German turbine maker Enercon. Details of the bid's business plan have not been made public.

The fourth bid is from Novas Energias Ibéricas (NEI), a consortium headed by Spain's Iberdrola and Gamesa and includes Portuguese companies Visabeira, Alberto Mesquita, MECI and Galucho. The €1.2 billion bid foresees the construction of five wind turbine factories at Guarda and Paços de Ferreira over the next two years, capable of manufacturing more than 124 machines a year.

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