Wind Wire: Foreign venture

Italian multi-utility company Fintel Multiservizi is setting up in Serbia and Montenegro to own projects and licenses for the development of wind farms with a total installed capacity of 330 MW.

The Balkan projects represent Fintel's first foreign ventures. After a deal with the Serbian government agreed last year, Fintel has won licenses to build five wind farms in Serbia at Vrsac, Bela Crkva, Vlasina, Bor and Pirot.

Two further projects are slated for Montenegro, says the company. Each project in the two countries will be managed by a separate company under the overall control of Fintel's local subsidiary, Fintel Energija. Fintel is finalising power purchase contracts in Serbia with Elektromreza Srbije (EMS), the state power company. The Italian government strongly backs Fintel's Balkan ventures.

Italian energy minister Claudio Scajola clinched a deal with Serbia guaranteeing that all renewable energy produced in the Balkan country will be sold at the local currency equivalent of Italian power purchase prices.

Fintel is the only company developing wind farms in Serbia and Montenegro, with seven in the pipeline. "We are currently in the authorisation phase and probably in 2010 we will produce the first kilowatts of energy," says CEO Tiziano Giovannetti. Fintel Multiservizi, based in Macerata, is controlled by the Hopafi holding company owned by the Giovannetti family. It closed 2008 with revenues of EUR76 million, nearly triple that achieved in 2007. There are plans to float 25% of the company this summer.

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