Germany's Prokon Nord Energiesysteme plans to make rotor blades for its 5 MW Multibrid turbine in a building currently used for electrolysis at an aluminium works in Stade, due to stop production at the end of the year. Prokon Nord will draw on expertise from a carbon fibre centre of competence in Stade and a rotor blade competence centre in Bremerhaven, says the company's Ingo de Buhr. A prototype Multibrid 5 MW machine has been under test near Bremerhaven since the end of 2004. Prokon Nord will invest EUR 100 million in the Stade facility, which aside from turbine blade production, will also include a bio-ethanol production works and a waste-fired cogeneration plant. Prior to the summer, mezzanine financing "worth a two-digit million figure" was secured for Prokon Nord by Ethos Partners. The mezzanine finance has equity character giving Prokon Nord "great flexibility" in its use, whether for developing new projects or financing new wind or biomass assets, according to Ethos. Details of the transaction were confidential but such mezzanine finance generally runs for six to eight years and commands interest rates of 7.8% to 8.5%.
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