Portugal

Portugal

Spanish foothold

Spain's largest wind operator has entered the Portuguese wind market with the purchase of the 18 MW Catefica project developed by Gamesa. The nine, 2 MW turbines from Gamesa Eólica are scheduled to come online by this month. The operator is to create an affiliate in Portugal which will manage its entire Portuguese business.

Spain's largest wind operator, utility Iberdrola, has entered the Portuguese wind market with the purchase of the 18 MW Catefica project developed by Gamesa. Both companies are concealing the price tag for the time being. The nine, 2 MW turbines from Gamesa Eólica are scheduled to come on line by this month.

"The acquisition is part of Iberdrola's strong commitment to the wind market in Portugal, where the company is currently developing 75 MW in the east and west of the country and is negotiating permits to install a further 174 MW," says the company. Its statement comes as news for most wind industry insiders -- no details have yet been released of Iberdrola's recently formed international wind development strategy. It also comes during the finalisation of a bilateral agreement between the two countries to create a single Iberian electricity market for the Iberian peninsula, known as MIBEL, the Mercado Ibérico de la Electricidad.

Iberdrola says it will create an affiliate in Portugal, to be chaired by former economy minister Joaquim Pina Moura. The affiliate will manage the utility's entire Portuguese business -- including electricity generation and distribution and gas distribution -- and plans to "take advantage of new opportunities arising from MIBEL." One such opportunity is a long anticipated tender from the Portuguese government for around 300-800 MW of new wind generation. Gamesa and Iberdrola are reported to be planning a joint investment plan in response, including setting up a facility in the country. The companies neither confirm nor deny such reports.

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