Powerful alliance for more development, New business venture with substantial backing

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One of Spain's most promising wind power developers, Gamesa Eolica, has joined forces with Nefinsa, a newcomer on the market, to build wind stations all over Spain. The agreement between the two companies envisages a combined investment of ESP 80 billion over the next ten years.

Although Nefinsa is a newcomer to the world of wind, Gamesa has earned a reputation as a company with a future in Spain's wind sector, largely thanks to its close liaison with Vestas of Denmark. The Danish company has shares in Gamesa and supplies the technology for the construction of its turbines in Spain, notably 600 kW units. Plans are also underway to construct even larger Vestas models in Spain. Several 600 kW Vestas units are already up and running in Navarra.

Vestas reports it expects to install 100 of the 600 kW turbine in Spain this year. So far the Danish company has two Spanish manufacturing facilities -- for construction of wind turbine towers and rotor blades -- and is shortly to open a third facility for assembly of complete machines. This is currently carried out in rented premises. The Vestas-Gamesa venture currently employs more than 120 people and aims to manufacture 200-300 of the 600 kW model a year, says Vestas.

Gamesa Eolica, a subsidiary of IBV, a corporation controlled by electrical giant Iberdrola and the BBV bank, will inject ESP 61 billion into its new alliance while Nefinsa, a conglomerate owned by the Emilio Serratosa family, will provide ESP 19 billion, according to Spain's authoritative financial daily newspaper, Expansion. Under the terms of the reported agreement, Nefinsa will have a 15% cut of all of Gamesa Eolica's investments in wind power at home, starting with a project in the Aragon region of northern Spain.

The first development is a ESP 2500 million investment in a 15 MW wind farm in the windswept Aragon municipality of La Muela, home to several second generation wind plant erected by Made, another Spanish wind company and subsidiary of the Endesa utility. La Plana III, as the new project has been baptised, will be followed by two more wind farms in La Muela if Gamesa Eolica and Nefinsa keep to the development plan they have presented to the regional government. The remaining 11 wind farms will be situated in other areas of Aragon.

Initial plans are for Gamesa-Nefinsa to have La Plana III up and running before the end of the year, followed in quick succession by the inauguration of other projects in different Spanish regions, including Cataluña in the northeast, Asturias in the north and Galicia on the Atlantic sea board.

Experts believe that the accord between Gamesa and Nefinsa is a further indication of Spain's commitment to wind power as a result of the public's growing awareness of environmentally friendly produced energy and the duo's faith in the prompt liberalisation of the power market.

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