Spanish companies clinch framework sales for 900 MW

Spain's wind industry has tightened its grip on the Italian market with two framework deals last month totalling 900 MW -- equivalent to Italy's entire online total for end-year 2003. Corporación Eólica (CESA), with over 400 MW turning across Spain, is to develop 700 MW with Italy's second largest oil refiner, ERG. The two companies have formed a joint wind venture called GEI, with CESA's Fernando Gumuzio at the helm. The initials stand for nothing according to CESA, though ERG understands them to mean Guascor Eólica Italiana. Guascor was CESA's mother company before the two companies split earlier this year. CESA's bullish activity comes after British capital risk firm Bridgepoint bought a 24% stake in the company following Guascor's exit. CESA now claims a worldwide developing pipeline of 5000 MW, across Italy, Hungary, Greece, the US and Canada. Meanwhile, Spain's top utility, Endesa, has signed a EUR 250 million agreement to buy 200 MW of Italian wind projects from Gamesa. Endesa says the plant will go up over the next three years. The deal reportedly forms part of Gamesa's purchase last year of turbine manufacturer Made Tecnologías, which formerly belonged to Endesa. The Spanish utility operates over 5700 MW of power plant in Italy -- 7% of the national total -- mostly from fossil fuel plant, but including the 20 MW Florines wind plant in Sardinia, which it bought from Gamesa in July.