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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

ROYAL INTEREST

Small UK wind turbine manufacturer Marlec welcomed a surprise visitor to its stand at this year's London Boat Show in January when Princess Anne dropped in. Marlec was promoting a new wind charger specially designed for use on yachts.

On a visit to Outer Mongolia, Princess Anne had apparently seen the firm's small wind energy converters at work. Several thousand of these have been sold to Mongolia's nomads to provide transportable power for basic needs. Marlec first became involved in Mongolia some six or seven years ago through a United Nations initiative, explains the company's Teresa Auciello. Bringing electricity to the rural nomadic population was seen by the UN and the Mongolian government as crucial in keeping the younger generation from drifting into cities in search of electrical powered comforts -- like television.

Mongolia is still a growing market for Marlec, says Auciello. Up to 1000 of the portable units are assembled in the country each year as local manufacture was a pre-requisite of the venture. Marlec supplies the raw materials and has a shareholding in the factory, the first western company to establish a joint venture with Outer Mongolia.

Another overseas market being targeted by Marlec is Indonesia where the company hopes to set up a joint venture to manufacture and market its turbines to the many island communities. However, Auciello claims that further plans to market abroad have been put on hold as the small company has as much business as it can cope with.

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