Investment without a future

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The federal ministry of natural resources has agreed to offer C$80,000 in financing to Polymarin Huron Composites Inc (PHC) for development of an improved manufacturing process for wind turbine blades. The loan tops a C$260,000 investment by PHC, of Huron Park, Ontario, to further develop a vacuum assisted, resin-transfer blade moulding process, which the company intends to implement in about 18 months. Having completed a contract to make 270 blades for US Zond Corp, PHC is producing blades for 600 kW Tacke wind turbines and for Wenvor-Vergnet's 25 kW unit. Tacke and Zond are owned by Enron. "Our next big challenge will be when the megawatt machines come to North America," says the company's Helge Wittholz. High transportation costs for big blades -- up to 20% of the blade cost -- will require blades destined for the North American market to be manufactured in North America.

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