Three strong contenders for Danish Rødsand 200 MW project

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The second round of bidding is under way for the 200 MW extension of Denmark's Rødsand offshore wind farm off the coast of Nysted in the south east of the country, currently at 165 MW and in operation since 2004. Following the major round of utility jostling in Scandinavia last summer, which saw a huge assets for shares swap between Denmark's Elsam and Sweden's Vattenfall, the line-up of bidders has changed since the prequalification round. Elsam has dropped out of the race, while Vattenfall has stepped in as the new majority owner of the "seven dwarves," a grouping of seven small Danish developers that had been competing with the big boys for the Rødsand contract. The other two bidders are a Dutch grouping of Ballast Nedam Infra BV and Evelop EV, which pre-qualified in the first round, and a Scandinavian consortium of Danish Offshore Natural Gas (DONG), Energi E2, and the Swedish division of German utility giant E.ON, also pre-qualified. Per Lauritsen, representing one of the original seven companies in the Rødsand II consortium, says it was the Danish government's demand for the project builder to invest DKK 800 million in the wind station that made the sale of 55% to Vattenfall necessary. Meantime, the twin 200 MW extension to Horn's Rev, Denmark's first large offshore wind farm at 160 MW, is a step ahead of Rødsand. Danish utility Energi E2 was picked to build it last year and is scheduled to issue a request for proposals for turbine supply in May. Both offshore wind farm extensions are scheduled to be fully operational by 2010.

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