German investor moves in acquiring first wind plant in north east France

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As part of its strategy to build a diversified portfolio of renewable generation capacity, the German insurance group Allianz recently acquired its first wind power plant in France. Allianz bought the 23 MW facility at Longuyon, in the Meurthe-et-Moselle département of north east France, from Eolfi, a Paris-based asset management company which also develops, finances, builds and operates wind plant, for an undisclosed sum. It consists of 11 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines and started operating in November. "We are very pleased to have made our first wind farm investment in France, which is a key wind energy market in Europe and one where we hope to make significantly more investments in the future," says David Jones, CEO of Allianz Specialised Investments, which made the deal. Allianz Specialised Investments was set up in 2005 to invest in renewable energy sources, particularly wind power, by taking an equity stake in large portfolios, buying individual projects or acquiring options in future projects. The aim is to build a long-term portfolio offering a secure income stream over 20 years, which is particularly well suited to its life assurance business. At the time, Allianz announced plans to invest EUR 300-500 million in the sector over five years. The company has since bought a 72 MW project in Sicily in 2005 and a 16 MW plant in Germany in 2006.

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