Bulgarian wind farm snapped up by Russian-Italian joint venture

BULGARIA: Lukerg Renew, a joint venture between Russian oil company Lukoil and Italian renewable-energy developer ERG Renew, has announced its intention to acquire a 40MW wind project in Bulgaria for EUR52 million.

Lukerg Renew has agreed to buy the wind farm from Raiffeisen Energy & Environment, a division of Austria's Raiffeisen Banking Group. The wind farm is located near the city of Dobrich.

Commissioned in 2009, the wind farm accounts for 10% of Bulgaria's total installed wind-power capacity.

The deal comes as Bulgaria is seeking to increase its wind capacity. Last month, MingYang announced it had secured a 125MW deal to build projects in the country.

The value of the Lukerg Renew deal is estimated at EUR52 million, however the acquisition remains subject to approval by Bulgaria's competition authorities.

Growing portfolio

The purchase will be Lukerg's second renewable-energy project. The company is also building a solar-photovoltaic project near the Bulgarian city of Bourgas.

At the time of the launch of the Lukiol and ERG Renew joint venture last May, its stated objective was to develop renewable-energy projects first in Bulgaria and Romania, with a view to moving on to Russia and Ukraine. However, Lukoil's management has since indicated that while further investments in Eastern Europe are planned, there is little chance of investment in its home market of Russia as Russian political leaders are still paying inadequate attention to the development of a domestic wind-energy industry.

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