South Korea places major order -- Capacity to double

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A joint venture of Japanese trading company Marubeni Corporation and wind developer Eurus Energy Japan has chosen Vestas to supply 49, 2 MW turbines for what will be South Korea's largest wind farm. The 98 MW project, in Gangwon-do province in the north-eastern part of South Korea, is also sponsored by four local companies.

Construction work on the ยด16 billion ($147 million) development started last month, with shipment of the turbines due later this year. Commissioning will take place in two phases -- 28 MW in December 2005 and the remaining 70 MW during late 2006.

The turbine order comprises delivery, supervision of installation and commissioning, remote control system as well as a five year service and maintenance agreement. "The positive expectations for the South Korean market are supported by the specified targets for renewable energy aiming at increasing renewable energy's share of the total energy supply from approximately 1% in 1999 to approximately 5% in 2011," says Vestas managing director, Ditlev Engel. Vestas is to establish a branch office in South Korea, a decision it says is "based on the expectations for a continued positive market development."

The main Korean partner in the project is Unison Company. It will own 35% of the operating company, Gangwon Wind Power Corporation, while Marubeni and Eurus will own 30% and 10%, respectively. Marubeni and Unison have already worked together as shareholders in the 39.6 MW Youngduk wind farm in Gyongsangbuk-do province, in the south-eastern region of the country, the first commercial wind project in South Korea. Due to start operation shortly, it brings the country's total installed capacity to 88.5 MW.

Both Youngduk and the Gangwon-do projects will sell electricity on South Korea's wholesale power market, the Korea Power Exchange, for a healthy KRW 107.66/kWh ($0.107/kWh) for 15 years.

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