Venture capitalists buy into wind company

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A venture capital company, Fortknox Venture, has taken a small stake in renewable energy planning and development company Umweltkontor Renewable Energy (RE). Fortknox is a subsidiary of insurance firm Deutsche Versicherungswirtschaft, based in Düsseldorf. Umweltkontor RE declines to reveal the size of the Fortknox capital injection, but it is rumoured to be several million Marks. The company's Andreas Köster says the funds will be used to expand the company's position as a leading wind developer in west German inland areas and to expand activities abroad. Umweltkontor RE, based in Hückelhoven, was founded in 1998 and reports turnover in 1999 of DEM 40 million. It has about 60 MW of wind capacity in operation in Germany, with DEM 200 million worth of new wind projects on its books. It is one of the few developers that can fulfil all tasks involved in a wind project, says director Heinrich Lohmann, from wind measurements, planning, realisation and financing to turbine operation. Umweltkontor RE hopes to become listed on the New Markets section of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange before the end of the year. Abroad Umweltkontor RE is active in Switzerland, Greece and Italy and has plans to set up subsidiaries in Spain, Great Britain, Sweden and Greece shortly.

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