Joint ventures open way to German exports

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With a growing number of foreign joint venture partnerships signed and sealed, most recently in Turkey and Spain, DeWind Technik is busy trying to improve Germany's poor reputation as an exporter of wind turbines. Over the past year it won orders from eight countries for ten projects, with several already in the ground (table). Most of the activity is concentrated in Europe, but the Lübeck-based company has also secured a foothold in Japan with sales of two turbines so far and orders for four or six more for delivery later this year.

To support DeWind's growth, it received a capital injection recently when German investment company BMP of Berlin bought a 25% stake in the company. According to DeWind's Hugo Schippman, sales are expected to reach DEM 200-250 million next year, compared with a turnover of DEM 100 million this year.

The summer months have kept DeWind busy with installation of four 600 kW machines near Zisterdorf in Austria for developer Donauwind. It has also been preparing a site on the coast of south east Turkey for three DeWind 60, 1.25 MW machines. These have been bought by a company which will use most of the power in its own business, selling the excess to the public grid, reports DeWind's Sven Kiel. The deal was clinched by Türk DeWind, which is 51% owned by DeWind together with two Turkish companies in Ankara, Elit, a trading firm and Santek, a steel construction company, with 24.5% each. Santek is later likely to make the towers for DeWind machines installed in Turkey.

In Spain DeWind is represented by Dewind Iberia, set up in May 1999 as a joint venture with Proyectos de Cogeneracion of Madrid, a company building small heat and power plant, says DeWind's Dietrich Meyer. DeWind holds 51% of the venture. It plans to increase the share of components made in Spain to meet Spanish stipulations on local input. At present, DeWind sources blades and cast iron components from Spain.

Of DeWind's 1998 exports, four 600 kW DeWind 48 machines with a hub height of 70 metres were installed at a site near Derenbach in Luxembourg late last year, bringing the total number of wind turbines in the country, supplied by various manufacturers, to 16. The DeWind units are owned by two related operator companies set up mainly by local farmers who began planning the project back in 1995. The power is delivered into the grid of Luxembourg utility Cegedel.

DeWind also has two DeWind 46/600 kW machines operating in Japan. One is owned by Sumitomo and was connected to the 50Hz grid at a site near Akitas on the island of Honshu in February, and the other is owned by the town of Chatan on the southern island of Okinawa, installed in June and feeding into the 60Hz grid used on the island. DeWind's Japanese marketing partner is Iwatani, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Japan dealing in industrial gases, food and other goods.

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