Erg Renew plans to double wind capacity by 2013

ITALY: Italian renewable energy group Erg Renew plans to double its installed wind capacity from a current 199 MW to 428 MW in 2013 in its core Italian and French markets, while increasingly seeking opportunities in eastern Europe.

Vestas 2 MW turbines at Erg Renew's 24 MW Faeto wind farm in the southern Italian region of Apulia
Vestas 2 MW turbines at Erg Renew's 24 MW Faeto wind farm in the southern Italian region of Apulia

The plans were outlined as part of the company’s 2010-2013 business plan presented this week.  In the same period, Erg Renew forecasted electricity production from Italian and French wind plants would rise from 317GWh to 825GWh.  

The company currently has six Italian wind farms with combined capacity of 144 MW and five wind plants in France with a combined capacity of 55.2 MW.   

Two Italian wind plants with combined capacity of 130 MW and a 9.2 MW French facility are already under construction.  An additional 20 MW in France and 10 MW in Italy are at an advanced stage of the authorization process while an additional 60 MW in Italy is in the authorization pipeline .

Erg Renew, a subsidiary of Italian refining group Erg, also highlighted the strong potential for wind in eastern Europe but did not specify which countries it was eyeing.  One of the key tasks of newly elected chairman Pietro Giordano will be to hammer out a business plan for the region.

Erg Renew in 2009 saw its net loss widen to €28million from €24.4million
, as it cited one-off costs related mainly to water services and mini-hydro.    In its wind business, total revenues rose 23% to €42.8 million as 55MW in new Italian capacity came on line, boosting domestic production 45%.  

This more than compensated for a series of negative factors, including lower French production and lower electricity and green certificate prices in Italy.  Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in Erg Renew’s wind business jumped 51% to €31.9million.

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