Japanese wind project developer EcoPower sets sights on China

Japan's EcoPower Company is investigating opportunities for wind development in China from a base in Jiangsu Province between Shanghai and Beijing. It intends to be generating wind power in China by 2008. EcoPower says it will also consider projects in other South East Asia countries, such as Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand. Meantime, the company is working on three projects totalling 43.5 MW in Japan, which will increase its domestic wind capacity to nearly 150 MW. These are a 15 MW wind farm at Shiso in Hyogo-Prefecture, due online by October 2006, an 18 MW project in Ikata in Ehime Prefecture, and a 10.5 MW development in Choshi in Chiba-Prefecture, to be completed by March 2007. All three projects will use 1.5 MW machines supplied by Japanese engineering giant Ebara, a 65% shareholder in Ecopower. Ebara has the right to exclusively produce, sell and service turbines in Japan based on technology developed by German company Pfleiderer, which sold its wind turbine business 18 months ago to Fuhrländer, a small German wind turbine manufacturer. Fuhrländer says it is in the process of signing a joint venture contract with Ebara.