French renewables firm Theolia aims for emerging markets

Theolia, a renewable energy producer operating out of France, has set up a subsidiary, Theolia Emerging Markets (TEM), in Casablanca, Morocco, to develop, build and operate wind and solar power plant in India, Eastern Europe, North and Sub-Saharan Africa and South America, with a target of 600 MW of combined capacity by 2011. Theolia says TEM already has 444 MW under development and negotiations are under way to buy a further 469 MW. Theolia will retain 51% of the company, while the remaining shares will be sold to institutional investors. TEM's first move is an agreement to buy 84.5% of Morocco's second biggest wind plant, the 50.4 MW Al Koudia Al Baida facility of Vestas turbines, from French state utility EDF. The machines have been operating since 2000. The deal gives Theolia 37% of Morocco's total grid-connected wind capacity, currently standing at 113.9 MW, plus a fixed price contract to sell output to the Moroccan Office d'Electricité du Maroc (ONE) for a further 12 years and a ten-strong management and maintenance team.

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