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TRADE MISSION SIGNS SERIES OF WIND DEALS IN CHINA

The US Department of Energy has been on a trade mission to China where a series of deals were signed. Zond, FloWind and New World all signed various types of agreements in China. New World hopes to be able to produce wind and solar products in China under joint venture and business alliances.

Preliminary agreements to export about 380 MW of US wind turbines have been signed during a trade mission to China -- and already it appears that some of the capacity may be built. American wind companies Zond Systems Inc, FloWind Corp and New World Power Corp signed various types of documents during a visit to China in late February, despite the trade feud then raging over Sino piracy of intellectual property.

xThe delegation, led by Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary, involved 65 business leaders from the US who negotiated $6 billion in business deals, says the US Department of Energy. China, with a huge potential for renewable energy, is a difficult place to develop projects. It is Third World, mired in uncertainty with the imminent death of its long-time leader Deng Xiaoping, and has much bureaucratic red tape.

Even so, Zond signed letters of intent for 200 MW of wind plants worth $182 million; FloWind signed agreements for 180 MW worth $160 million and New World signed letters of intent for 220 MW in total. Washington had vowed to slap 100% tariffs on $1.1 billion worth of Chinese products unless China agreed to strict protection for US trademarked goods. The trade war was averted when China backed down at the last minute.

"I think a lot will get done," said Zond's Ken Karas. "But it's not a walk in the park." He says he obviously hopes Zond's proposals will go ahead as soon as possible -- and he expects to know whether they will actually go ahead within two or three years. Zond signed the following: 100 MW with the Inner Mongolian Power Authority; 70 MW with Zhejiang Wind Power (a 128-unit plant on Dachen Island; and 30 MW -- or 54 wind turbines -- with the Nanao Power Authority.

Three for FloWind

FloWind signed two letters of intent for: a 100 MW plant with Inner Mongolian Provincial Electricity Board, Zhao Fengshan; and 30 MW for a joint-venture plant with Zhejiang Wind Energy, Zhang Bao Kang. Information on the third proposed project was not immediately available, but it will use the AWT26 turbine and FloWind's new extended "EHD" vertical axis turbine.

New World signed a share purchase agreement with China Chang Jiang Energy Corp (CCJEC) for a 39 MW hydro plant. New World is acquiring a 40% interest in the Fujian Nan Ping Hydro Power Co, already under construction and to come on line by the end of 1995. New World hopes to make $4 million annually in cash flow. The project is one of China's first joint ventureships with a foreign company to receive power permits, contracts and financing, says New World. During the trade mission, New World also signed a sustainable development agreement to conduct formal visits between China and US officials every year to exchange information on renewables and technology.

Integrated wind and hydro

xNew World later announced, on March 9, that overall it had agreed with CCJEC to develop a total of five hydropower power stations totalling 246 MW. Some 200 MW of integrated wind is also to be developed near the hydro projects, so that wind-hydro combinations can be used as dispatchable not peaking power, with hydro providing pumped storage. The projects will be on the Upper Ming River in Fujian province. One of the projects was announced after the Department of Energy (DOE) trade mission.

Ultimately, New World hopes to have wind and solar products manufactured, assembled and distributed from within China under joint venture and business alliances. The products would be supplied for the worldwide market, says New World. The joint venture hopes to transfer solar and wind technologies to China and create business alliances for the manufacturing, assembly and distribution of products. Wind projects in China and on the Pacific Rim will also be among other projects to be developed by the joint venture partners. Wind farms, 65% owned by New World, will be in Shenzen and on Nanao Island.

CCJEC is one of the largest power development and equipment companies in China. Apart from the agreements announced after the DOE trade mission, academic exchanges will also take place between Georgetown University, where New World is sponsoring a course on renewable energy applications, and universities in China selected by CCJEC.

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