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United States

Credit Suisse becoming majority share holder in Composite Technology Corporation

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Credit Suisse is on its way to becoming the majority shareholder in America's Composite Technology Corporation (CTC), which owns the DeWind line of wind turbines with German roots. Last month saw Credit Suisse invest $10 million in the company, which is in the process of ramping up its turbine manufacture in the US. CTC's Andy Lockhart says a further investment of $40 million is expected in June. This will give CTC the financial backing to help commercialise its 2 MW turbines in North America. CTC partnered with TECO-Westinghouse on a manufacturing facility in Round Rock, Texas (Windpower Monthly, January 2007) but that production has been delayed and downsized from initial expectations. As many as 50 turbines had been expected by the end of 2007, with triple that by the end of 2008. Instead, turbines are only now beginning to roll off the assembly line, says Lockhart. The first deliveries are expected this year to prospective customers in the US, Canada, Mexico or Brazil. Negotiations are underway. Lockhart says the money from Credit Suisse will be particularly helpful in today's tight financial climate. The investment bank's clout will help lock in big orders for capital-intensive subcomponents needed for increased manufacturing levels. "There's a funny dichotomy going on right now in the broader market where it's good to have more competition from multiple players on the turbine front, but the way the banks look at it, they become more sceptical of the mid level and small scale companies," Lockhart says. The company hopes to produce 200-400 MW in 2009.

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