Sinovel - Greek factory deal 'still going ahead'

GREECE: Sinovel has insisted it still plans to build a 300MW wind farm and factory in Greece, despite the difficult economic conditions in the country.

In April 2011, Sinovel and Greek national utility the Public Power Corporation (PPC) announced plans to develop a 300MW onshore project at Rodopi, northern Greece. Additionally, Sinovel said it would build a factory in the country.

Since then, other than a brief mention in PPC's annual report, there has been little public progress on the project or an announcement when work will begin. While in May, Sinovel has signed a 600MW deal with neighbouring Turkey.

Speaking to Windpower Monthly, Sinovel insisted it was still committed to both building the Rodopi project and a factory in the Greece. However, it was unable to give details of when construction would start or whether the project would remain at 300MW.

For its part, PPC said the project was still happening but was also unable to reveal a timetable. Asked directly whether he thought Sinovel would go through with the factory, PPC CEO Ioannis Tsipouridis replied: "There is no reason to believe otherwise."

In August, Tsipouridis said the Sinovel deal would allow the manufacturer to target a wide number of European markets. Under the agreement, Sinovel would become an equity partner while PPC could have access to project-financing from China.

In May this year, Sinovel has announced a $1 billion deal deal with neighbouring Turkey's Agaoglu Construction to develop a 600MW project. Since then it has opened an office in the country and said it is looking at setting up a Turkish manufacturing plant.

At the time of the Turkey deal, Sinovel vice president Tao Gang said the move in Turkey would increase its presence European countries near Turkey while allowing it to target the Middle Eastern wind market.

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