Vestas and Leighton awarded $A200m Australian windfarm contract

Vestas – Australian Wind Technology Pty Ltd and Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd have won a contract worth more than $A200m ($97.4 m) to build Australia’s largest windfarm reports Asia Pulse.

The companies were chosen by developer Babcock & Brown Windpower Pty Ltd over AN Windenergie and a consortium of Siemens and Enron Corp to install around 120 wind turbines for the Lake Bonney windfarm in South Australia.

Babcock & Brown spokesman Miles George said today that the windfarm’s capacity of around 70 MW was more than three times that of Australia’s next biggest windfarm.

The first 40 wind turbines would be operational by the end of 2002, with up to 80 more turbines due to be installed over the following six months, George said.

Prospects for the development improved after the federal government passed a bill in December 2000 forcing all wholesale electricity purchasers to buy an additional two per cent of their energy requirements from renewable energy sources. “There is talk of increasing that target,” George said, noting that percentage would be reviewed around the same time the project’s first turbines started operating.

He said the company’s previous windfarm projects in Australia had capacities of around 20 MW. The Lake Bonney project represented the developer’s drive to take advantage of economies of scale. George said Babcock & Brown Windpower planned to gain sharemarket exposure in Australia by shifting its windfarm operations to listed winery Vincorp Winery, in which Babcock & Brown last week announced its intention to buy a 75 per cent stake.

Babcock & Brown Windpower is a joint venture between worldwide investment bank Babcock & Brown Pty Ltd and US alternative energy project developer National Power Partners.

Vestas is a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of the Denmark-listed wind turbine company of the same name.

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