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Sales across six countries

As the world's leading wind turbine manufacturer, Denmark's Vestas has a strong presence across the Mediterranean region, with cumulative installed capacity in the area's major markets of over 5800 MW as of June (table). Sales are also healthy, with orders for over 1000 MW being announced since the beginning of the year for delivery to countries bordering the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The majority of these concern projects in Spain and France, but the company also reports significant orders from Italy, Portugal and Turkey, with Greece trailing somewhat behind.

In Spain, Vestas has booked turbine sales this year for at least 18 projects with a combined total of 570 MW, a major addition to the over 2000 MW it has so far installed there. The projects range in size from 16 MW to 88 MW. In France, one of Vestas' main clients is EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN), the renewables arm of state utility EDF. Under a framework agreement for delivery of 100 MW each year in 2008 and 2009, plus an option for an additional 200 MW in 2009, Vestas will deliver 223 MW over the next two years to EDF EN projects in Greece, France and Italy.

Major orders in Italy this year amount to 112 MW for two projects in Sicily, which will be added to the existing 1734 MW of Vestas machines in operation, representing 56% of Italy's total wind power capacity. A single order for Portugal is one of the biggest received by Vestas in the region this year, at 102 MW. Thirty-four 3 MW machines are going to wind project developer Enersis, owned by Babcock and Brown, for its Toutico project, near Coimbra.

The company continues to make strides in Turkey, where local owner-operator Borasco Enerji ordered 15, 3 MW turbines for its project at Bandirma. Ten units of the same machine were also chosen by Belen Elektrik for a 30 MW development in the Hatay region. Bringing up the rear this year, Vestas Greece has sold 34, 850 kW units to REnInvest, a Swiss-based renewables investor and operator, for its 28.9 MW project at Anemos-Florina in Macedonia.

All this activity is managed out of the Vestas Mediterranean head office in Barcelona, which also covers the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and North and West Africa. Vestas maintains sales offices in each of its main Mediterranean markets, though Portugal now comes under a single, Iberian office based in Madrid, Spain. Vestas decided to combine its Iberian offices to benefit from synergies and economies of scale. "Given the market challenges which Vestas Mediterranean will be facing in the coming years, there is an internal need to gain greater levels of efficiency across our entire territory," according to Juan Araluce, president of Vestas Mediterranean.

Most of Vestas' manufacturing facilities in the region are concentrated in Spain, where its first investment dates back to 1998. This plant, assembling nacelles for the 1.65 MW unit at Viveiro in Galicia, was joined in 2002 by a factory for control systems, also for the 1.65 MW unit, at Ólvega in Castilla y León. In 2006 Vestas started making nacelles for larger machines at nearby Villadangos del Páramo. Later this year it will complete a EUR 76 million facility at Damiel, in Castilla-La Mancha, producing blades for the V90 model, rated at both 2 MW and 3 MW. In addition, the nacelle factory in León will be extended to boost annual output from 450 to 1500 nacelles, at a cost of EUR 50 million, with completion in mid-2010. Vestas will also build a generator factory nearby on the same time schedule, its third in the world.

In Italy Vestas has been making blades and assembling nacelles, most recently also for its 3 MW model, at Taranto in Italy since 1998. At full-stretch, the factory can produce more than 500, 850 kW turbines a year. It is the only factory outside of China still making the 850 kW model.

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