Business digest: American loans

Portuguese energy giant EDP plans to contract a loan of $1 billion by the end of the year to finance investments in the US, where EDP Renovaveis (EDPR) has an installed capacity of more than 2 GW of wind power and planned projects of over 18.3 GW.

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"The operation should be ready in the fourth quarter of this year. If the market is healthy we will proceed, if not we will wait," says EDP's financial director Nuno Alves. According to Alves, the investment in the North American market is one of the key factors behind the increase in EDPR's share price since January and will be one of the company's major drivers of growth over the next four years.

EDP already has a presence in six US states and has designs on 18 more, with over 14 GW of developments in the pipeline through its subsidiary Horizon Wind Energy. EDPR is the third biggest wind operator in the US and was the second biggest in both 2007 and 2008 in terms of new capacity. EDP is prepared to support EDPR financially until 2014, by which time its installed capacity will have risen to more than 10 GW from 5.2 GW at the end of the first quarter of 2009.

Over the next four years, EDP is planning to invest EUR2 billion a year in wind projects, representing two thirds of its overall investments.

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