First stage of major Galicia development, tomen and sea west

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Construction has started in Spain of two 20 MW wind farms in the northwest of Galicia being developed by EuroVento, a joint venture company set up by SeaWest of California and Japanese trading company Tomen Corporation. EuroVento is using Danish Bonus machines, partially made in Galicia by Empresa Nacional Baz‡n de Construcci—nes Navales y Militares SA (BAZAN), the country's shipbuilding concern.

Power from the wind farms will be sold to utility Union Electrica Fenosa under premium price contracts for renewable energy ordained by Spanish law. SeaWest has rights to develop 525 MW of wind power in Galicia, its share of 2818 MW of building licences granted to 11 development companies at the end of 1995 by the regional government of Galicia.

Tomen acquired a 50% interest in the SeaWest projects last July and has provided construction financing for the first 40 MW, scheduled to go on line before the end of the year. SeaWest, which describes itself as a multi-national wind energy developer and operater, established its Spanish subsidiary in 1992 and developed an industrial plan for Galicia involving several local companies, including the largest construction company in Galicia, Constructora San José SA.

"EuroVento's industrial plan represents an important economic activity to the Galician community. It is estimated that the development of these projects will create over 200 manufacturing jobs and 50 jobs in operation and maintenance of the wind farms. Additionally, several hundred construction jobs will be created," says SeaWest's Jan Paulin. When completed the 525 MW will add up to an investment in Galicia of some $750 million.

The wind turbines will be supplied under a technology transfer agreement between Bonus and BAZAN. Manufacture of specific components in Galicia will be under the supervision of Bonus, according to SeaWest and Tomen, who add that the Spanish content of the turbines will gradually increase.

In the past SeaWest and Tomen have jointly developed 11 wind projects in California and the UK with a total capacity of 223 MW and a 28 MW cogeneration facility in Tortosa, Spain. These are all operated by SeaWest subsidiaries. Tomen has recently formed Tomen Power Corporation (Europe) which will retain an equity interest in the completed EuroVento projects, similar to its participation in projects in the UK, Portugal and Italy.

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