The German division of Danish wind company Nordex is considering a joint venture for manufacture of turbines with a machine engineering company in Belarus, a former Soviet country. Nordex is also working on projects in Germany and Latvia.

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A machine engineering company in Liepaja in Belorus, a former Soviet country, is considering a joint venture with the German division of Danish wind company Nordex for manufacture of wind turbines. This year, as a first step on the way to realising the project, the Belorus company will take delivery of a 250 kW wind turbine supplied by Nordex of Germany. This project has been granted 70% subsidy under Germany's Eldorado programme for support of wind projects in developing countries.

Earlier this year Belorus introduced a standard rate of pay for renewables generated electricity in a law modelled on Germany's Electricity Feed Law. Renewables electricity will be bought for about $0.08/kWh compared with a consumer price for electricity in Belorus of just $0.012/kWh.

In a second project in the east, Nordex of Germany is supplying ten, 250 kW machines for a site in Latvia which was swept by the Chernobyl radioactive cloud and can no longer be used for agriculture. The project is being developed in 1995 by a company based in Minsk, formed specially to operate the wind project. It is owned 50% by the regional electricity utility and 50% by private investors, some from Germany. If all goes well with this initial trial, the intention is to install Nordex 800 kW turbines in Latvia in the future. The 800 kW is currently being developed with a grant from the European Union's Thermie programme and construction of a prototype at Nordex's new workshop, at Ostseebad Rerik in east Germany, has begun. The machine will have a hub height of 63 metres and a 52 metre rotor diameter. "Already would-be-developers have applied to the building authorities for permission to install 300 of the 800 kW machine," says Nordex Germany's managing director, Volker König. Nordex started production of its 250 kW machine at the Rerik works in April. Nearly 30 are employed at the premises. The 800 kW prototype will be installed at a location close to Ostseebad Rerik and series production will start next summer at a new workshop in Schwerin, also in eastern Germany. Nordex is preparing to sign a co-operation contract with the largest machine manufacturing company in the town, the Klemens Gottwald Werke. One of KGW's workshops will be used exclusively for manufacture of the 800 kW turbine.

Meanwhile business is booming for Nordex. The Danish company is producing five turbines a week and expects this rate to continue until at least the end of the year to meet contracts in China, India and Germany. Nordex will add 53 to the present 120 turbines in Germany, mainly at inland sites. In February the country even sold a turbine to a private operator in Eckartsau in Austria, not known for its booming market.

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