Bulgaria scores first century -- Huge capacity boost

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Two wind power plant totalling 45 MW have started turning at Kavarna, on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, raising the country's total installed wind capacity to 109 MW. First on line was the 10 MW Long Man installation, developed and built by Denmark's Global Wind Power and equipped with Vestas 2 MW turbines. This was followed in August by a 35 MW facility at Kaliakra Cape, owned by Kaliakra Wind Power AD (KWP), a joint venture held 70% by Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and 30% by local construction company Inos-1. Mitsubishi supplied the 35, 1 MW turbines.

The total cost of the Kaliakra development amounted to EUR 53 million, including a syndicated loan for EUR 37 million arranged by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Mizuho Corporate Bank. The plant is now waiting for ratification as a joint implementation project under the Kyoto Protocol, which would allow the sale of carbon emission reduction certificates to boost revenues. Japan Carbon Finance Ltd has agreed to buy up to 350,000 tons of certificates, while Mitsubishi will buy any surplus. Overall, the plant should cut emissions by about 85,000 tonnes a year.

American AES

Other projects in the works include 120 MW, also near Kavarna, being developed by America's AES in partnership with a Bulgarian-German company, Geo Power. The 60 Vestas 2 MW turbines are supposed to be delivered next summer, with completion slated for 2010.

According to a Bulgarian investment information service and as reported by Sophia Echo, a weekly English-language paper, Vestas has been scouting for sites "to buy or rent" near the city of Rousse on the River Danube. According to Vestas, that is "a rumour which it cannot confirm." It is unclear if Vestas may be buying land for a factory or for a wind farm.

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