Flurry of orders and a purchase -- Gamesa gains

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Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa Eólica has entered Africa with an 85 MW turnkey contract worth EUR 85 million. At the same time, the company has landed three turnkey contracts at home for a total of 132 MW worth EUR 115 million -- and the Gamesa group has bought one of its Spanish component suppliers.

In Egypt, Gamesa will supply and install 100, 850 kW turbines to the New Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), a public entity controlled by the country's energy ministry. Construction at the site in Zafarana, on the shores of the Red Sea, is scheduled for August. Local firms have clinched tower contracts and Gamesa has also subcontracted civil engineering works to Egyptian companies.

Gamesa describes the deal as a "mile stone in its international expansion process, especially as it had to compete in a public tender with other world leading turbine manufacturers." NREA will be asking the wind industry to tender bids for a 120 MW extension to its Zafarana facilities, which include 60 MW of existing wind plant, later this year.

At home, Gamesa has sold 38 of its 2 MW model to Corporación Eólica SA (CESA) for the 76 MW Cristo Bailones-Alhambra wind complex in the south-central province of Ciudad Real. CESA already operates 333 MW of Gamesa turbines across Spain. In a second sale, Ibereólica has bought 18, Gamesa 2 MW machines for its 36 MW Lubian project in the northern province of Zamora. Third, in neighbouring Navarra province Gamesa has sold 23, 850 kW turbines to Desarrollos de Energías Renovables SA (DERSA) for a 19.5 MW extension to its existing San Esteban plant.

Buying up know-how

Meantime, the Gamesa group has paid EUR 2 million for Madrid-based power electronics firm Enertron. Gamesa says the purchase is to enable it to improve "the reliability and quality" of the wind energy its turbines deliver to the grid and to improve the technical integration of wind into power systems, particularly with regard to "tension, intensity and frequency." Grid operator Red Eléctrica de España is increasingly pressuring for wind plant to contribute to grid stability.

With its purchase of Enertron, Gamesa inherits a customer portfolio that includes Spanish utilities Endesa, Iberdrola and Unión Fenosa, together with multinationals ABB and Repsol YPF as well as PV solar firms BP Solar and Isofoton. Gamesa describes the purchase as part of its strategy towards vertical integration and a contribution to the technology and design of turbines from Gamesa Eólica.

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