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United States

Into fossils and out of wind turbines

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Financially troubled wind plant developer New World Power Corporation says that it has almost secured enough new financing to re-launch its development activities. But its new start will come at a price. The one-time wind and hydro developer is widening its scope -- to include fossil fuel projects -- and has sold off its wind turbine manufacturing division in Vermont, originally known as Northern Power Systems and as North Wind.

Nasdaq re-listing

The news that New World, based in Connecticut, had restructured its corporate debt came in late December as the company was attempting to re-list its common shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange. New World sold its 85% interest in New World Power Vermont, a maker of hybrid renewable plant as well as wind turbines, to a venture capital company, Arete, to pay off an outstanding $643,000 debt to Arete -- presumably an investment for which Arete Ventures is now extracting its pound of flesh. New World's Vermont division, headed by the respected wind business veteran Jito Coleman, had been seen by many to be about the only valuable part remaining in the ailing New World.

New World also reduced and restructured its $4.3 million debt to Flemings Capital. And the company said it was close to signing a new convertible debenture financing -- which would mean a $1 million investment in New World -- with Synex Energy Resources Ltd, of Vancouver. With Synex, New World hopes to form a strategic alliance for international power project development. Two Synex officers will be named to New World's board of directors.

The changes come as no surprise. Last year, New World had sold off its interest in wind farms in both England and Ireland. Other much flaunted proposals -- such as a massive project in Mexico -- had also fallen far short of New World's public pronouncements.

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