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Bancaja bank takes 20% stake in wind project development consortium

Bancaja, a Spanish bank, has taken a 20% stake in a wind project development consortium, Proyectos Eólicos Valencianos (PEV). It was awarded rights in January to put up 498 MW of wind power in the east coast region of Valencia. This was the third largest of five concessions to developers totalling 1700 MW for the region. PEV estimates that investment in Valencia development will reach EUR 450 million. Bancaja's participation of around EUR 26.7 million is one of the largest direct stakes in a single wind development concession by a bank in Spain, indicating that wind power is increasingly recognised as a financially viable and maturing industry. PEV's main strength comes from Spain's largest utility, Endesa. Endesa's renewables wing, Endesa Cogeneración y Renovables (Ecyr), is one of the country's largest wind developers with 424 MW on- line at the end of 2001. The utility's share in PEV's Valencia development is now reduced from 70% to 55% following Bancaja's entry, while partner Sedesa -- a major regional constructor -- has cut its stake from 30% to 25%. Bancaja had previously made a bid to enter regional wind development with a 20% stake in Urgeban, a consortium of Spanish wind giant Gamesa and construction group Dragados. But the regional government rejected Urgeban's plan. According to the regional press Bancaja is also lining up to enter Valencia's largest wind development concession of 608 MW being developed by Renomar, a joint venture between Spain's second largest utility, Iberdrola, and its largest wind developer, Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra.

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