Grand plans but little progress -- Sweden boss goes

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The chief executive of Renewable Energy AB has stepped down after the Swedish wind power developer reported a loss of SEK 8.8 million (EUR 970,000) in the first half of the year and the failure of a high profile share issue. The sudden departure of Jerry Schön means the company has replaced its entire management team since the start of 2002.

The move also coincides with a decision by the board to write down the value of the company's product portfolio from SEK 10.8 million to SEK 8.2 million. Schön, who remains a major shareholder and will in future advise Renewable Energy on contacts with key customers, has been replaced by company outsider Stefan Nordström.

Renewable Energy, based in Malmö, first came to prominence in 1997 when it announced plans for 500, 1.5 MW turbines off the Swedish coast. To date it has installed 25-30 turbines in and around southern Sweden, according to Schön. In 1999, the company signed a joint development agreement with US energy giant Cinergy Corp for a $100 million offshore installation -- a project that has yet to be realised (Windpower Monthly, October 1999).

Poland and Afghanistan

In February this year Renewable Energy unveiled plans to enter the nascent Polish wind power market, starting with construction of a 10.2 MW wind plant near Gdansk. Soon afterwards it attracted more attention by announcing it was to conduct a feasibility study into wind power development in Afghanistan.

Then in April the company announced it was raising SEK 16 million in new shares. Later, however, it was forced to correct inaccuracies concerning permits for three planned wind turbines published in the official prospectus. The new issue subsequently proved a fiasco, raising just SEK 600,250.

Despite its internal difficulties, Renewable Energy said this month that the Polish project will go ahead as planned. To be built on a site known as Lieswo 1, it will consist of 17 Enercon E44 600 kW turbines from Germany.

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