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China selects partner to ride the wind, joint venture for 200 MW

China's State Planning Commission, as part of its bid to develop 400 MW of the country's 1000 MW target for wind energy by 2001, has selected Nordex Balcke-Dürr GmbH as the first foreign partner in its Ride the Wind programme, launched in January. Together with Xian Aero Engine Co Aviation, Nordex Balcke-Dürr expects to develop at least 200 MW of the planning commission's projects.

Xian Aero, a commercial arm of the aviation ministry, was selected as a wind turbine manufacturing partner by the Chinese authorities in 1996 along with Luoyang First Tractor Factory, a commercial wing of the Chinese machinery ministry. The selection of German owned Nordex Balcke-Dürr, headquartered in Denmark, followed closed door negotiations throughout May. Xian Aero and Nordex Balcke-Dürr finally signed the agreement on May 31, reports the wind company's Carsten Pedersen. The intention is to set up a joint venture company to realise the planned wind projects before the end of the year. "The joint venture will conduct an ambitious localisation programme to step by step increase the local content to 80%," says Pedersen.

The 400 MW is to be financed through Chinese and foreign government loans, according to Nordex Balcke-Dürr. Under China's "Double Increase," part of the country's ninth five year plan, contracts for over 70 MW of wind power have already been granted this year to Danish companies Vestas and Micon (Windpower Monthly, January 1997).

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