Danes set up shop in Japan

Danish turbine maker NEG Micon has bought 80% of the share capital in its former Japanese agent, Ecology Corp. With the incentive of a weaker yen at the time of the acquisition, the price was "very cheap," according to Micon's director, Jens-Erik Kristensen. The Japanese company has been renamed NEG Micon KK.

Ecology Corp has been NEG Micon's sole distributor in Japan, helping the Danish company capture more than half the Japanese wind market in the past seven years. According to sources in the Japanese wind industry, potential Japanese developers want to buy machines directly from manufacturers and not via an agent. With the acquisition, NEG Micon hopes to live up to this demand.

"We will defend our leading position in the Japanese market," says Kent Larsen from NEG Micon KK in Tokyo. "But we want to diversify our customer base and have direct contact with other potential customers."

Meanwhile, NEG Micon has established a joint venture -- Wind Service Corp Ltd (WSC) -- with Japanese company Ibara Corp . NEG Micon owns 60% of the JPY 30 million joint venture and Ibara 40%. WSC will service NEG Micon's wind turbines. Ibara has a long history of working within the alternative energy industry. The company is also one of the bigger investors in EcoPower Co, which has plans to install 60 MW of wind plants in Japan over the next two years (Windpower Monthly, October 1997). EcoPower has to date used only wind turbines from NEG Micon.

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