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Wind Business: Business Digest

Wrong reaction

The negative reaction of the Spanish stock market to Iberdrola's sale of 10% of its stake in Gamesa is a mistake, says Luis Merino from consultancy Energias Renovables. Gamesa's share price fell by 8% on the news, while Iberdrola's rose by just over 1%. But Iberdrola is still Gamesa's largest stakeholder with a 14.1% share, points out Merino. "Far from abandoning Gamesa, Iberdrola remains committed while gaining liquidity to back investments in these hard times," he says. Iberdrola and Gamesa retain their master agreements for turbine purchases and shared ownership of projects. "So strategically, both group's interests are intact," says Merino. US bank Morgan Stanley was the biggest single taker of Iberdrola's Gamesa stock, buying 4.9%.

Exports boom

Danish wind power technology exports were DKK 42 billion (EUR5.64 billion) in 2008 and represented 7.2% of Denmark's total export revenue, reports the country's wind industry association. Including sales to the domestic market, wind industry turnover was DKK 53 billion, a 25% increase on the year before. Export revenues increased 20%. Globally, Danish wind industry turnover, including that of overseas subsidiaries, was DKK 80 billion (EUR10.7 billion) in 2008, 30% more than in 2007. Total wind industry employment in Denmark was 28,400, 5000 more than the previous year.

Ethiopia loan

The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation and French development agency AFD have agreed a EUR208.6 million loan for a 120 MW wind power facility being built in Ethiopia at Ashegoda in Tigray province by French turbine manufacturer Vergnet (Windpower Monthly, January 2009). AFD will provide EUR45 million, with interest rates set at the Euro Inter Bank Offer Rate (Euribor) minus 2% a year over 15 years. French bank BNP Paribas will contribute EUR130 million guaranteed by the French government at the Euribor rate plus 2% per year over 11.5 years. The remaining EUR33.6 million will be a commercial loan from BNP Paribas at the Euribor rate plus 4.5% over five years.

Canadian entrance

German wind project developer PNE Wind AG, previously Plambeck Neue Energien, is taking its first steps into the Canadian market through a joint venture with BCP Renewable Energy Ltd. Under the agreement, made through PNE subsidiary Plambeck New Energy USA, the companies will jointly participate in wind energy requests issued by SaskPower, Saskatchewan's government-owned utility. BCP has 280 MW of wind in development in Saskatchewan in four projects. It also has prospects in Manitoba, Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia, says the firm's Chad Eggerman. It has no operating wind farms. The Saskatchewan government wants its utility to add another 100 MW of wind by 2012 to the 171 MW already integrated into its mainly fossil-fuel power system.

Made it at last

India's Suzlon has completed its purchase of shares in German wind turbine maker Repower from Portuguese construction company Martifer, bringing its holding in Repower to 90.72%. The end of the protracted acquisition moves Suzlon beyond a turbulent chapter in which its founders and majority shareholders, the Tanti family, sold 6% of their shares in the company to raise money for the third and final stake of Repower, as well as other financial obligations, cutting its ownership in Suzlon to 60% (Windpower Monthly, June 2009). "With the transaction behind us, we will focus our efforts on building a mutually beneficial business relationship with Martifer," says Suzlon boss Tulsi Tanti. Suzlon bought the final lot of Repower shares, a stake of around 14.4%, in two instalments, EUR87.6 million paid on May 29 and EUR87.6 million on June 5. This followed payments of EUR65 million in December for the first stake in Repower and EUR30 million in April for the second.

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