Uruguay swaps debt to Spain with wind farm

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The Spanish government has agreed to cancel $10.5 million of Uruguay's $77 million debt with Spain, providing the full amount released is used to build a 10 MW wind plant using Spanish turbines. The agreement, signed in Montevideo as part of the debt conversion plan between the two countries, marks the first official step towards building a wind project in Uruguay. Commissioning is slated for 2008. The deal stipulates restrictions on tendering, ensuring "the project will be 75-80% Spanish," says Iñigo Fernández de Mesa of the Spanish economy ministry's international finance department. Spain will also receive purchase priority on carbon credits associated with production. Once commissioned, the plant will be owned by the Uruguay state and managed by state utility La Administración Nacional de Usinas y Trasmisiones Eléctricas (UTE).

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