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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

PARTNER DEPARTS, National Wind Power

British construction giant Taylor Woodrow is pulling out of National Wind Power (NWP), the joint venture company it set up in 1991 with National Power plc to carry out wind power plant development. The move leaves NWP under the sole ownership of National Power, the UK's largest conventional electricity generator. Until now Taylor Woodrow has held a 33% shareholding in NWP.

Shareholdings in a further two joint venture companies are also being transferred, according to the terms of the split, to be finalised shortly. Taylor Woodrow is to take 100% ownership of First Windfarm Holdings Ltd and is to dispose of its interest in Kirkby Moor Windfarm Ltd through arrangements with the other shareholders -- National Power and SWALEC, the electricity distribution company for south Wales.

Both National Power and Taylor Woodrow claim the shake-up is no more than a rationalisation aimed at strengthening their positions in the UK wind energy industry and providing firm bases from which to continue their developments. "The reason is simply that we got together and looked at the companies' holdings in wind power and decided that both had an active interest in wind energy which would be better served by a different arrangement of shareholdings," explains Roger Ogle, acting managing director of NWP.

Andrew Wadstead of Taylor Woodrow adds: "The situation as it stands is that we have minority interests in three different companies. We think it is better to have 100% ownership of one." First Windfarm Holdings was originally set up between the two parent companies to own and operate three wind farms developed by NWP at Cemmaes, Cold Northcott and Llangwyryfon. The turbines at all three sites were manufactured by the Wind Energy Group -- another Taylor Woodrow subsidiary which remains unaffected by the shakeup.

Ogle, a finance director with National Power, maintains his position as acting managing director at NWP is only temporary. "I am standing in for three months while David Lindley is on secondment to National Power to undertake a special project." The project concerns National Power's wind energy interests in the international arena, he says.

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