Spanish utility Iberdrola forms Portugal wind consortium with local partners

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Spanish utility Iberdrola has announced official formation of a wind developing consortium in Portugal, founded with local partners. The new company is called Aeolia, in which Iberdrola holds a 78% share. Portuguese construction firms Alberto Mesquita and Visabeira each hold 11%. The move comes as part of a recent wave of Iberdrola actions in Portugal's energy sector. In May, Iberdrola bought the 18 MW Catefica plant, now building, from competitor Gamesa. Iberdrola says it is currently negotiating permits to install 174 MW in the country and that it is developing a further 74 MW. The Spanish utility is spurred on by Portugal's 3750 MW wind objective for 2010, together with mounting support for wind from the central government. This year, 63 MW has been added to the 300 MW turning at the end of 2003, with a further 530 MW now building. The Portuguese sector is also pending a long-promised public invitation to tender for development of 550 MW sites, which have yet to been allocated to developers. Iberdrola's action is also goaded by the imminent finalisation of a single electricity market for the Iberian Peninsula -- Mercado Ibérico de la Electricidad (MIBEL) -- covering Spain and Portugal. In July, the utility created Iberdrola Portugal Electricidade e Gas as its Lisbon headquarters for all its business activity in the country, including generation and gas and electricity distribution. Former Portuguese economy minister Joaquim Pina Moura is president of the new affiliate.

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