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Belgium

Belgium

Premature order optimism -- Enron and Electrabel

An announcement by Enron Wind at the Hannover trade fair that it is to install eight 1.5 MW turbines in three projects with Belgian utility Electrabel is denied by the utility. It also says there is no "general contract" with Enron. At Hannover, Enron said it had drawn up a general contract with Electrabel "for the supply of further Enron Wind 1.5S turbines" in a written statement.

"Yes, we have negotiated a general contract with Enron Wind, but it isn't signed yet," says Luc Victor, Electrabel's project manager for wind farms. He explains that Electrabel is anxious to seal framework contracts with suppliers for onshore wind farms to avoid the complicated rules governing EU tenders. Electrabel is in final negotiations with three wind companies, he says, two for supply of large turbines and one for supply of smaller machines. Enron Wind is one of the three. Once framework deals are agreed, Electrabel will simply request price bids from the signatories when it needs turbines for a project, explains Victor.

He adds that the "eight turbines" is also incorrect as the number was reduced to three some months ago. European bird regulations prohibited the building of five planned turbines at the site of the Doel nuclear plant, near Antwerp.

The seemingly overly optimistic statements from Enron Wind, by managing director Herbert Peels, followed the installation of three of the company's 1.5 MW turbines for Electrabel at Schelle (Windpower Monthly, May 2001). "There are three follow-up projects, for which we shall install a total of eight further 1.5 MW turbines as soon as we have received permission for developing the sites. And, last but not least, we have drawn up a general contract with Electrabel for the supply of further Enron Wind 1.5 S-turbines," he said in a statement issued by Enron.

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