Competition heats up in Spain

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Spain's locally dominated turbine market is opening slowly but surely to foreign heavyweights Vestas and GE Energy. Between them they have sold nearly 400 MW to Spain in recent months, much of it to traditional clients of Spain's Gamesa, agreeing framework deals for further sales at the same time.

Last month, Vestas clinched three orders, worth around EUR 100 million, for 101 MW in Spain. The orders come on top of the 117 MW it announced in October. Vestas is delivering 30, 1.65 MW turbines for the 50 MW Belchite plant and 12 turbines, an equal mix of Vestas 1.65 MW units and NM 1.5 MW turbines, for the 19 MW Sotonera project. Both are being developed in Aragon by utility, Hidroncantábrico.

Until now, Hidroncantábrico's renewables arm, Genesa, has almost exclusively used Gamesa technology. The recent purchases from Vestas are tied to a 30-month framework deal between Vestas and Genesa for 152 MW. Genesa has a long standing 248 MW framework deal with Gamesa Eólica, with 124 MW left to deliver.

The remainder of Vestas' December sales, 33 MW, goes to ENEL Unión Fenosa Renovables -- a joint venture between Italy's top utility ENEL and Spain's third utility Unión Fenosa. It has signed up for 20, 1.65 MW turbines for its Sierra de Oliva project in Castile-La Mancha.

Since September, GE Energy has either supplied or has begun supplying turbines for wind projects in Spain totalling 165 MW. They are in addition to 200 MW already supplied and turning since January 2004. Its activity represents around 14% of the total plant commissioned or building in Spain during last year. So far, all GE Energy's sales are for its 1.5 MW turbine, turned out at the company's Noblejas facility in Castile La Mancha. The bulk of the sales are for projects totalling 297 MW by utility Iberdrola in the same region.

Also in Castile La Mancha GE Energy, is supplying 33 machines to the 50 MW Las Lomillas project being developed by Genesa. The developer's Javier Mateache says Genesa's strategy with its purchases from Vestas and GE is to diversify supplies. Genesa says it has also chosen GE for its neighbouring 30 MW La Dehesilla development, awaiting the final go-ahead. A further 12 GE turbines are going up at Bodenaya, in the small north-western region of Asturias. Bodenaya is a development joint venture owned 75% by large Danish utility Energie E2, with local developer Northeolic owning the remainder.

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