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Allco sells Australian assets

Hard hit by the global credit crisis, Allco Finance Group has sold its Australian wind farm interests to AGL Energy Limited. AGL is paying A$12.5 million for Allco's seven wind power projects with a combined capacity of up to 1120 MW. They are under development in Queensland, New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA). Only three of the seven have yet to receive planning permission: the 150 MW Crows Nest wind farm at Toowoomba, Queensland, the 180 MW World's End project at Burra, SA, and a 20 MW plant at Box Hill in Armidale. Two projects, the 150 MW Australia Plain wind farm at Eudunda, SA, and a 21 MW project in Armidale, NSW, are described as being "in progress." Of the remaining two, AGL expects to apply for planning permission for 150 MW at Ben Lomond, again in Armidale, while 450 MW in South Australia is at a very early stage. "The development portfolio we have acquired from Allco effectively represents an early entry option for us over potential future wind sites, which should become increasingly valuable as the expanded Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) is deployed over time," says AGL's Michael Fraser. Under the expanded MRET, Australia is targeting 45,000 GWh of its electricity supply to come from renewables by 2020. Allco's disposal of its Australian wind assets follows the sale of its wind assets in the US (page 20). "This will contribute further liquidity and profitability for the business, as Allco implements its business restructure plan," says the company's Nick Bain.

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