Datang aims for 33% of Australian market with $6.3 billion venture

CHINA: Developer China Datang is setting up a A$6 billion ($6.3 billion) joint venture with the aim of developing renewable energy projects in Australia.

Datang is teaming up with CBD Energy Ltd, an Australian listed company, and turbine manufacturer Baoding Tianwei Baobian Electric Co, based in north China’s Hebei province. The new company will be called AusChina Energy Group.

Datang said it was looking at developing projects in the US and South America. It is China’s number two developer behind Longyuan, which announced its own international tie up with Gamesa last week.

Under the agreement, Datang Renewable holds 63.75 percent, CBD Energy has 23.75 percent, and Baoding Tianwei 12.5 percent.

This venture will develop wind power and solar power projects in Australia. Under an initial plan, it will set up a wind farm and solar power plant in three years, with an investment of A$3 billion.

The gross investment over the next eight years will reach A$6 billion. The ultimate objective is to occupy 33 percent of the renewable energy market in Australia.

The two Chinese companies will supply facilities and funds for the project.

Datang Renewable, the second largest wind farm operator in China, after Longyuan, floated its shares in Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the end of last year.

Hu Guodong, deputy general manager of Datang Renewable, said: "This joint venture will also serve as a bridge for Datang to participate in other overseas projects.

"In addition to Australia, we are talking with partners in the United States and South America to jointly develop wind farms in the local places. We have some projects under the process of argumentation."

McGowan, a senior executive of CBD, said the joint venture will manage to have feed-in tariffs equally competitive with those of thermal power in three years.

Going global has become a major theme of Chinese wind farm operators this year. Industry officials generally believe wind power will have greater opportunities in the wake of the Japanese nuclear power plant leak accident after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in April.

On April 13, Longyuan signed an agreement with Gamesa in Beijing to jointly develop wind farms in the United States, Europe and South America.

Leading Chinese wind turbine makers are also aiming at the world market.

Sinovel, China’s largest wind turbine maker, has mapped out to sell one half of its turbines to the world market over the next five years.

Tao Gang, vice-president of Sinovel, said "We are keeping a watchful eye on the mature European and North American markets and the emerging Australian and South American markets. The Chinese market will slow down in growth rate sooner or later. We may make bigger profits overseas and diversify our clients. This will ensure our sustainable development."











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