Tender winner to build seven wind turbine factories

The Portuguese government has formally signed a contract awarding 1200 MW of wind power capacity to a consortium led by Portugal's biggest utility, Eólicas de Portugal (EDP). The consortium competitively bid for 1000 MW, but was awarded an extra 20% of capacity because of the exceptional merit of its plan (Windpower Monthly, November 2006). Other consortium members are Finerge, Generge, Térmica Portuguesa and Enercon. The partners will spend EUR 1.67 billion between 2006 and 2011 developing 48, 20-25 MW wind farms using Enercon turbines in the regions of Minho, Upper Beira, Lower Beira, Extremadura and the Algarve. It will also establish seven wind turbine manufacturing facilities, including an industrial estate, Enerconpor, in Viana do Castelo, which will see four of the factories producing Enercon's E-82 units. With an annual production capacity of 150-180 turbines, Enerconpor is to be completed by December 2009. "More than 60% of the wind turbine production will be exported from 2011," says EDP's Aníbal Fernandes. "The production of wind generators in Portugal will increase from 20% to 100% and we will save more than EUR 100 million a year on the import of raw materials." The selling price of the electricity generated by the plant will be 5% cheaper than the current tariff for wind power in Portugal, adds the country's economy minister Manuel Pinho. Meanwhile, the consortia competing for the second phase of the government tender, which will award up to 500 MW of wind power, have until December 4 to revise the bids they originally submitted at the end of 2005. Three consortia are still in the race -- Ventinveste (headed by Galp Energia), Ventonorte (ENEL/Unión Fenosa) and Novas Energias Ibéricas (Iberdrola). Contracts for this capacity should be awarded during the first half of 2007, says the government.