Spanish company goes abroad

Ecotècnia's recent technology transfer agreement with Japanese multinational Hitachi Zosen marks another step in the Spanish company's search for inroads into new markets. The agreement confers exclusive rights to Hitachi Zosen to manufacture, install and commercialise Ecotècnia technology in Japan. In turn, the Japanese company is to install a demonstration Ecotècnia 640 kW turbine. The machine is expected to be up and running within the next few months following siting studies and negotiations with the respective Japanese utilities.

Hitachi Zosen Corporation leads the heavy machinery manufacturing sector in Japan, with an annual turnover of ¥600,000 million (EUR 5409 million) including its activities throughout Europe and the US. The annual turnover of Ecotècnia, which belongs to Mondragon Corporacion Cooperativa (MCC), is around ESP 7000 million (EUR 42.1 million).

Ecotècnia's Japanese venture follows completion of Cuba's first wind plant, which, with its two Ecotècnia 225 kW turbines, was finally hooked to the grid in May. The ESP 80 million (EUR 481,000) project in Turigano, in the Cuban province of Ciego de Avila, was mainly developed by the Spanish non-government organisation, ACSUR-Las Segovias, in conjunction with Cubasolar, a solar group working in Cuba. Problems with funding dragged the project out over a period of four years during which time the initial target of 1 MW was reduced to the final 450 kW installed.

Ecotècnia is also active as a developer in Portugal with a 40 MW project pending there. Outside Europe again, Argentina is also receiving special attention from Ecotècnia. Despite enormous potential, only 12 MW of wind has been installed in Argentina where electricity is among the world's cheapest, making it hard for wind to compete.

Ecotècnia has more than 100 MW of wind turbines installed in Spain-and another 350 MW pending local government approval throughout the country.