France

France

Wind Wire: New player

A new entrant on the French renewables scene has raised EUR19 million to develop and build a project portfolio of 265 MW, including 150 MW of wind plants.

Frey Nouvelles energies, a wholly owned subsidiary of property investor La Compagnie Financiere Frey, secured a EUR15 million capital increase by issuing convertible bonds, due to mature in 2015, to four investors. The Caisse des Depots et des Consignations (CDC), a state-owned financial institution which supports projects of public interest, and investment-fund manager Natixis Environnement et Infrastructures, bought EUR7 million each. Two regional development funds, based in Ardenne-Champagne and Lorraine, each stumped up EUR500,000. The four now own a 6% stake in Frey. The additional EUR4 million raised, which will be channeled directly into individual projects, came from private investment funds. Frey says it plans to invest nearly EUR470 million by 2013 to become one of France's top three or four market leaders in the renewable sector, targeting a turnover of EUR50-80 million. It has a partnership agreement with German turbine manufacturer Nordex to develop and build wind power projects. Ownership of each wind farm will be split 50/50 between the two companies, with each having the option to buy the project outright. The partnership also extends to Romania, where Frey established a development office earlier this year, primarily to focus on wind power. Frey currently has 39 MW of wind capacity under construction in the Champagne-Ardenne region of northern France. The first to come on line will be a 27.5 MW installation in the communes of Antheny, Champlin and Auvillers-les-Forges, in the Ardennes department. Comprising 11 Nordex 2.5 MW turbines, it is due for commissioning next year.

 

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