An outlet for British composite towers -- DeWind goes to India

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A joint venture of British and Indian interests is poised to acquire German wind turbine maker DeWind from its current British owner, FKI Group. The deal follows FKI's decision in November to exit the wind turbine business.

xSubject to contract and due diligence examination of the company, DeWind's new owners will be composite tower manufacturer EU Energy plc of Milton Keynes in the English Midlands and Shriram EPC Limited, the engineering and wind energy arm of Shriram Group, an Indian finance conglomerate based in Chennai. EU Energy, formed some 18 months ago, is the lead management partner in the 50-50 joint venture.

xEU Energy and Shriram plan to set up a sales and service unit in India to sell DeWind turbines into the Indian market alongside a 250 kW wind turbine made by Shriram. According to Michael Porter of EU Energy, Shriram guarantees to place an order for a minimum of 200 DeWind turbines over the next three years for use in new wind farms in India. The joint venture also says it intends to develop wind farms throughout Europe. DeWind's turbine assembly facility in Germany is to be retained, but not the one in England

xEU Energy sees the acquisition as a means of launching its own composite tower technology into the wind turbine market. The technology is licensed from Composite Technology Corporation in the US. Porter says the modular lightweight towers will be much cheaper than steel and can be installed without the use of cranes. Negotiations are underway on three sites in America and Europe to test prototype towers, he says. "It is not easy for us to break into the market because of the normal reticence against a technology that is new. So it is a logical extension for us to have our own turbine," says Porter.

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